Monthly Article Archives: April 2004

Hazing: Rituals of Bonding or Humiliation?Robert Brooks, Ph.D.

This past December both the magazine Sports Illustrated and the newspaper USA Today published major stories about hazing incidents in our schools and colleges, especially among athletes. Accounts of student athletes being subjected to harmful and degrading acts as part of an initiation to become members of a team were highlighted. Lest we think hazing is a problem confined to boys, both articles reported the flagrant abuse that transpired at a “powder puff” football game between junior and senior girls at a suburban high school outside Chicago. The event, caught on video and aired repeatedly on television newscasts, showed seniors kicking and punching their junior counterparts as well as smearing them with a mixture of house paint, fish guts, and human feces. Several of the juniors required hospital care for their physical injuries (one can only imagine the extent of their emotional injuries). Hazing is not a new practice, although some researchers believe it is on the rise. It has been occurring on athletic teams and in fraternities for years. There are those who view its purpose as a harmless rite of passage. Perhaps for many that may be its intent, but all-too-often the actions that fall under the umbrella

Article Archive