Hazing is not an old problem; it’s actually an ancient issue that persists in human behavior since the inception of this world. A report has revealed that initiation rituals related to hazing can be traced back to 2000 years. Maybe not existent since the aboriginal times, but it surely is a contemporaneous yet classical issue.
Initiation rituals are not necessarily bad in their manifestation—they allow for a process through which new people get affable to the traditions, as for the purpose of homogeneity or acceptance by the group. When it comes to passing down of traditions, these initiation rituals seem perfectly innocent.
Hazing is taking your initiation rituals and multiplying them by madness into thousand times. It’s defined as any activity that can be acutely dangerous, executed to be part of a group. It can involve a person’s unwillingness to participate and that’s where hazing gets all wrong—hazing easily qualifies into the realm of abuse.
Hazing In Schools
We may have seen in movies teens pressuring their younger peers to participate into binge drinking, stripping etc. (example: American Pie—Beta House). Though movies aren’t really an archetype of real-life hazing, but it still is pretty similar and gruesome. in some cases, However, it can be even more gruesome than to what’s shown on TV.
The history of hazing revolves particularly with Greek College campuses of sorority and fraternity culture. “Pledges” with desperation in their hearts for joining sororities or frats to achieve a better social status and future networking options, would do whatever they were told, even the most terrible trials.
A study has revealed that nearly 2 million teens are hazed every year, adding that 48 percent of the students who joins a group are subjected to hazing. 43 percent of those are humiliated, 23 percent are asked to participate in substance abuse and 29 percent would be encouraged to commit an illegal act.
Hazing is not just your standard school “scandal”, it’s something of a very perverse nature and kids usually have to face severe consequences.
Hazing Can Condition People to Accept Bullying
Apart from schools, hazing is a common phenomenon in every workplace. The fundamental lesson that’s taught everywhere is that “you have to accept abuse, if you want to be accepted”. Kids are told, implicitly that they will have to accept abuse, or degradation of their character, if they want homogeneity and acceptance. When this happens, kids simply take bullying as normality, something that they have to accept, unconditionally. This behavior simply makes the bullied kid vulnerable, while the bully finds themselves in a more powerful situation, lashing out at other kids more willingly.
Hazing is not something that can be skimmed out of our schools with a few assemblies on how prevent hazing. It requires persistent efforts. Parents need to specifically discuss and reinforce the idea into their kids’ mind that hazing is wrong and shouldn’t be accepted under any circumstance. Kids need to be realized that they don’t have to do anything under peer pressure or to be part of a group.
There are a few ways to halt the culture of hazing at schools:
- Substitute the culture of hazing with something more of a welcoming ritual. There are schools where seniors welcome newcomers with parties. School management can participate in these activities to make this all happen.
- Monitoring teens’ activities and communications.
- Inculcating alternative measures of success into the mind of teens, like focusing on better academic results etc.
Hazing is a peculiar problem which needs to be addressed without procrastination. Good news is that there is a paradigm shift in hazing others. People do consider it to be wrong