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Answeing questions .

Project instructions:
Background:
?Group structure and processes are the impetus for many rape episodes, but research has rarely investigated these contexts in relation to rape.
?Many rapes occur in fraternity houses on college campuses, but no research has yet analyzed fraternities as rape-prone contexts
?The group and organizational context of fraternities may create situations, motivations, and rationalizations for rape.

Men and Masculinities:
?Fraternities are vitally concerned with masculinity and a macho image.
?The valued qualities of fraternity members are athletic, big guys, good at sports, willing to drink alcohol. (Fraternities try to avoid geeks, nerds, and guys who would

give the fraternity a wimpy or gay reputation).
?The pledge process emphasizes toughness, withstanding pain and humiliation, obedience to superiors, using physical force to obtain compliance, and this creates

an interpersonal style that deemphasizes caring and sensitivity, but fosters in-group trust and loyalty.
?The preoccupation with masculinity in fraternities can lead fraternities to engage in behavior that is overtly masculine, and sexually dominating women may be

used as a way of exerting masculinity and toughness.

Loyalty, group protection, and secrecy:
?Loyalty to the fraternity is a strong concern for fraternities, and protection of the fraternity often takes precedence over what is legally or ethically correct.
?Group protection is maintained at all costs.
?Secrecy, symbolized by secret handshakes, rituals, and mottoes, is a major part of fraternities.

Alcohol as a Weapon:
?In fraternities, the use of alcohol to obtain sex from women is pervasive.

Violence:
?Fraternity men have a history of violence?hazing, fighting, property destruction, and rape has caused them problems with insurance companies.

Competition and Superiority:
?In-group loyalty and out-group hostility cause fraternities to compete over everything, but most importantly to this study, attracting and displaying the most

attractive women is very important.

Commodification of Women:
?Fraternities knowingly use women for their benefit?as bait (advertising and recruitment), servers (Little Sisters), and as sexual prey.

Conclusions:
?The organizational structure and group processes of fraternities contribute heavily to coercive and often violent sex.
?Fraternity brotherhood emphasizes a macho conception of men and masculinity, a narrow, stereotyped conception of women and femininity, and the treatment of

women as commodities.
?The fraternity culture and socialization into that culture (through the pledge and hazing processes) creates a fraternity situation (masculinity, competition, secrecy

and loyalty, and lack of external controls) that is conducive to overt sexual coercion and sexual violence.

Discussion Questions:

1) Are these processes unique to fraternities, or are these processes evident in other circumstances?

2) In what other social contexts might you find the group characteristics listed above?

Category: Uncategorized

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