Myths About Hazing Skip Navigation

Myths About Hazing

Myth #1: Hazing is a problem primarily for fraternities and sororities.

 Hazing is a societal problem. Hazing incidents have been frequently documented in the military, athletic teams, marching bands, religious cults, professional schools, and other types of organizations. Reports of hazing activities in high schools are on the rise.
Myth #2: Hazing is no more than foolish pranks that sometimes go awry.

 Hazing is an act of power and control over others — it is victimization. Hazing is premeditated and NOT accidental. Hazing is abusive, degrading, and can be life-threatening.
Myth #3: As long as there's no malicious intent, a little hazing should be OK.

Even if there's no malicious "intent," safety may still be a factor in traditional hazing activities that are considered to be "all in good fun." For example, serious accidents have occurred during scavenger hunts and “kidnapping” trips.
Myth #4: Hazing is an effective way to teach respect and develop discipline.

 Respect must be EARNED — not taught. Victims of hazing rarely report having respect for those who have hazed them. Just like other forms of victimization, hazing breeds mistrust, apathy, and alienation.
Myth #5: If someone agrees to participate in an activity, it can't be considered hazing.

Fact: In most states that have laws against hazing, consent of the victim can't be used as a defense. Even if someone agrees to participate in a potentially hazardous action, it may not be true consent when considering the peer pressure and desire to belong to the group.

Adapted from the Gordie Foundation and