Facts and Myths

Hazing is a plague in our society. Incidents are on the rise, particularly among increasingly younger children committing increasingly more violent acts. Take a look at some statistics:

  • 1.5 million high school students are hazed each year; 47 percent of students came to college already having experienced hazing.
  • 55 percent of college students involved in clubs, teams and organizations experience hazing.
  • Alcohol consumption, humiliation, isolation, sleep-deprivation, and sexual acts are hazing practices common across all types of student groups.
  • 40 percent of athletes who reported being involved in hazing behaviors report that a coach or advisor was aware of the activity; 22 percent report that the coach was involved.
  • Two in five students say they are aware of hazing taking place on their campus. More than one in five report that they witnessed hazing personally.
  • In 95 percent of cases where students identified their experience as hazing, they did not report the events to campus officials.
  • Nine out of ten students who have experienced hazing behavior in college do not consider themselves to have been hazed.
  • 36 percent of students say they would not report hazing primarily because "there's no one to tell," and 27 percent feel that adults won't handle it right.
  • As of February 12, 2010, the number of recorded hazing/pledging/rushing-related deaths in fraternities and sororities stands at 96– 90 males and 6 females.
  • 82 percent of deaths from hazing involve alcohol.

Data cited from the national study Hazing in View: Students at Risk conducted by Elizabeth Allan, PhD and Mary Madden, PhD from the University of Maine. The full report of both the pilot and complete national study is available online.

Some helpful questions to ask yourself before engaging in a risky act or behavior:

  • Make the following inquiries of each activity to determine whether or not it is hazing.
  • Is alcohol involved?
  • Will active/current members of the group refuse to participate with the new members and do exactly what they're being asked to do?
  • Does the activity risk emotional or physical abuse?
  • Is there risk of injury or a question of safety?
  • Do you have any reservation describing the activity to your parents, to a professor or University official?
  • Would you object to the activity being photographed for the school newspaper or filmed by the local TV news crew?

If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," the activity is probably hazing.

» More facts and myths about hazing