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Hazing: Hazing is a form of bullying: it has the two defining characteristics - negative acts by peers and imbalance of power. The problem is that hazing is not acknowledged or recognized as bullying, even by national leaders of the anti-hazing movement which does such great and passionate work on the issue. The specific problem with not identifying hazing as bullying is two-fold:

(1) it leads to underestimation of the prevalence of bullying, when bullying phenomena is not recognized as such; and

(2) what we know about bullying and how to prevent and address it is not applied to the problem of hazing. There are two items to access below. One of the items ('key points') is a draft. It needs further review, but it was reviewed and then distributed at a training conducted by NJ Interscholastic Athletics Association this week, and considered helpful by them (an authoritative opinion), so it is being made available here now. The other item ('myths') is an excellent handout accessed at www.stophazing.org, a major U.S. website for hazing information.

Hazing Key Points 

Hazing Myths

3/09: Settlement in hazing death (4 years ago) in Colorado

Hazing settlement Colorado 3-09

3/09: In case anyone thought the problem had gone away ...

hazing NH 3-7-09

5/08: Perhaps reflecting growing awareness of hazing as a problem and less societal tolerance for it, there was a notice in the NY Times (5/8/08) about hazing at Tulane University in which pledges were scaled with hot water and pepper, requiring hospital treatment. The students who did the hazing were criminally charged and the fraternity suspended. The question which still needs to be addressed was whether the hazing there represents a pattern on the part of that fraternity and others, and - therefore - the extent to which college administrators could reasonably have been aware that hazing was (still) going on (if it was) and taken some proactive steps, rather than only reacting incident-by-incident. But the article was too short to say, and - as the article noted - Tulane (which issued a news release about the incident, and took action, to its credit) is investigating. Overall, such articles may portend a (continuing) positive change. Here's an article which describes more.

Fraternity hazing

3/08: Excellent article (from the medical literature, by an emergency medicine specialist) on hazing. It was published in 2002, but I'll post it now since I just came across it in my files- it's an excellent review of the issue, and the professional (dispassionate) language required makes the points, examples and analysis an even more powerful statement. Note author's referencing of Hank Nuwer (several times) - it's not often a journalist is cited so prominently in a med lit article - that the author does so is a testimony to how sparse the med lit is on hazing (true in 2002, and still true) and on how important to this issue Hank Nuwer (the leading anti-hazing advocate) has been. Hazing 2002 Finkel

8/07: New book review (and recommendation) about hazing by Dr. Michael Greene, Coalition Research Director.

Hazing review



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