For many households, hazing is more of a tradition than anything else. It isn’t seen as method of bullying at all. It’s a rite of passage that helps a child turn into an adult. Viewed as a method of building confidence, self-esteem, and even courage, it has been part of many societies for several generations. The only problem is that sometimes a hazing incident will go a little too far. It might be because of a perceived rebellion, or glorification of the process, or just because of alcohol, but there are hazing issues that stretch around the globe right now and people are at-risk of being hurt.
Statistics for Hazing Deaths
1. Nearly 1 out of every 5 high school students said that they experienced hazing just because they reached a certain age or grade level.
2. Nearly half of all high school students say that they’ve experienced some form of hazing during the year at least once.
3. The percentage of students who realize that what is happening to them at school meets the definition of hazing: 8%.
4. One of the most common forms of hazing are alcoholic drinking games, accounting for 12% of the total documented hazing incidents that are currently on record.
5. Drinking large amounts of liquid that isn’t alcoholic is almost equally popular: 11% of students report having to drink large amounts of water, milk, or other beverages.
6. Despite meeting the definition of hazing, 8 out of 10 students who were hazed in high school don’t believe that the incident which happened to them qualifies as hazing.
7. 3 out of 10 students report that they were willing to do something illegal in order to join a particular group of students.
8. The percentage of high school students who admit that they’ve participated in activities which qualify as hazing: 48%.
9. 1 in 4 student athletes has been part of a hazing incident before the age of 13.
10. 80% of student athletes at NCAA member colleges and universities report that they were hazed for the first time while in high school.
11. Both men and women are hazed equally in educational environments.
12. The estimated amount of students who are in high school and hazed every year: 1.5 million.
13. More than 90% of high school students say that they won’t report a hazing incident, even if they were just witnesses to it and not participants.
14. Only 40% of college or university students admit to hazing incidents happening.
15. Another 40% of college students say that their coach or professor knew that hazing was happening.
16. The percentage of college or university students who say that someone hazed them: 5%.
17. 1 out of every 2 students believes that the most important aspect of hazing is the unwritten “Code of Silence” that is expected when an incident occurs.
18. Hazing is more likely to occur to students in a household where at least one of the parents was also a victim of hazing.
19. The number of students that team hazing affects because of athletics: 250,000.
20. 60% of those who support hazing say that they do so because it helps others be able to withstand stress that is psychological in nature.
21. Humiliation is the most popular method of hazing, accounting for 67% of total incidents that happen.
22. Nearly 4 out of every 10 students say that they don’t report hazing incidents because they don’t have anyone that they’d trust to tell.
23. The percentage of people who support hazing and say that being able to tolerate pain is an important aspect of life: 32%.
24. 50% of the female NCAA Division I athletes reported being hazed.
25. 6-9% of the female NCAA athletes were subjected to sexually related hazing including harassment, assaults, or simulated sexual activities
26. More than 50% of hazing incidents are documented through photographs and then posted on social networking websites.
27. 25% of the student hazing behaviors in the last year occurred on-campus in a public space.
28. 69% of students who belonged to a student activity reported they were aware of hazing activities occurring in student organizations other than their own.
29. The percentage of students who believe that adults wouldn’t handle a report of hazing in the right way: 27%.
30. 22% of students that are hazed report that the coach or advisor was involved in the hazing.
31. The percentage of students in academic organizations that were subject to hazing in the past year: 28%.
32. Since 1978, hazing in college sports has increased by 300%.
33. 64 percent of participants in club sports have reported at least one hazing incident.
34. 56% of students who pursue the performing arts report hazing incidents have occurred.
35. 75% of fraternity members engaged in heavy drinking, compared with 49% of other male students.
36. Fraternity men are at greater risk for committing sexual assault due to their alcohol consumption.
37. 13% of the students who attended a fraternity or sorority party had at least five drinks in one sitting.
38. 44 States in the US have anti-hazing laws, yet don’t officially track data that is accumulated because of these laws.
Contributing Factors to Problem
What adds to this problem is the fact that there are no official statistics that are kept on hazing. Not a single government on the planet tracks hazing deaths at all. This means that there could be something going on at your local school right now and you’d never know about it. Even when incidents do occur, they are listed as something that happens accidentally. When the futures of our sons and daughters are at stake, more needs to be accomplished than just a casual awareness of the dangers of hazing. Something needs to be done to stop it.
Hazing in History
Hazing isn’t a new thing either. The first documented death that is attributed to hazing dates back to 1838. It may be part of many past generations, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be a part of the current generation. This isn’t a crusade to stop kids from having fun. It’s information that everyone needs to know so that sexual shaming, physical violence, and unforeseen deaths that happen because of hazing can stop right away.
Some people are taking action. Some high schools have suspended football seasons because of hazing incidents. Some colleges have fired coaches, band leaders, and other officials that have allowed or even participated in hazing over the years. This is a good start. What the statistics show about hazing deaths, however, is that there is still a long journey that needs to be traveled in order to prevent these needless bullying accidents from occurring in the future.
Issues With Hazing Activity
There are a number of horror stories that have happened in the last decade of students dying because of hazing. Sometimes it is because of massive alcohol consumption. Other times it might just be from abuse. Suicide also happens. Hell Week still happens, but it should probably stop. There are other ways to initiate new members into a group.
One of the reasons why hazing is still happening is because there is a lack of clear, concise communication between students and adults. Even if a student is still in college, their parents, advisors, and others in a position of authority should have the training and tools that are necessary to respond appropriately to a hazing incident. The sad truth is that 1 out of every 4 students simply doesn’t trust what an adult will do if they are told of a hazing incident.
Because there is no trust, the environments of hazing help to contribute to a number of other crimes if they don’t contribute to a hazing death. Rape, sexual assaults, and other forms of abuse are all part of the college culture and the end result is that kids today are getting hurt when they should be getting an education. Hazing isn’t about promoting stress endurance or helping others learn how to cope with pain. Hazing is about dominance and superiority, plain and simple.
By recognizing what hazing is and allowing a report of hazing to not be considered “snitching,” more awareness can be raised on this issue. Once hazing is noticed, it is important to recognize it as a problem. Not reporting hazing makes on complicit in it. Report the incident, take action if necessary, and be proactive in talking to students about how they can find acceptance with a group that doesn’t require hazing. There are no demographics in hazing. Every student is at risk in some way.
The key component of hazing is that a group wants someone to know “their place.” Hazing needs to also know it’s place in society is no longer welcome. Every hazing death is a preventable death. It may have been part of society for two centuries or more, but that is the past. We need to look toward the future.