'[A] Man and a Brother': Intersectionality, Violent Hazing, and the Law
98 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2014
Date Written: March 15, 2014
In this article, my coauthors and I analyze hazing as a legal issue both within the civil and criminal context. We then posit that hazing is not the same across collegiate, Greek-letter organizations. Specifically, we contend that the intersection of race and gender should reveal differences in how hazing manifests itself. In an archival study of fraternity/sorority hazing incidents from 1980-2009, we find that white fraternities/sororities have greater issues with sexual hazing, alcohol-related hazing, prank hazing. White fraternities have greater issues with mental hazing and physical hazing involving calisthenics. Black fraternities/sororities have greater issues with violent hazing. In a second study, a survey of almost 1,400 black fraternity/sorority members, we find that hazing is more violent in black fraternities. Narrow conceptions of what constitutes “authentic” black masculinity, even among highly educated African Americans, may explain why black fraternity hazing is so violent. In two more studies, we find that some black fraternity chapters employ monikers — e.g., Bloody Beta, Deadly Delta, Killer Kappa — to describe their chapters. Such monikers may be consequential in litigation, as they may be admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence, at least in federal court, under certain circumstances.
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