Hazing is a rite of passage of sorts to initiate a new member in to a gang, military group, fraternity, sorority or other group. Hazing Practices often involves embarrassing or degrading acts, physical and/or mental abuse, and often sexually oriented activities. Forms of hazing are performed all around the world. In the U.S. it is most often associated with colleges and new sorority/fraternity members going through hazing in order to get in to the group.
Hazing is used to promote partnership and loyalty through suffering. It is often carried out during hell night or hell week, which includes a sequence of degrading and exhausting events in order to prove a pledgeâ€™s true dedication. A pledge is a term often given to a group newcomer.
In the U.S. it is thought that hazing may have originated in World War I when harsh hazing practices were implemented at boot camp in order to strengthen camaraderie. The practices then trickled down in to colleges and now hazing practices are even found in high schools within football teams, cheerleading squads, marching bands and other high school organizations.
Such violent practices include beating, kicking, branding and sexual abuse. There is a fine line between pulling a prank on newcomers versus possibly causing them bodily harm.
In the last couple of years there was a story that reached the news of a hazing incident where a student was forced to drink so much water his organs drowned inside of his body and he died. The intended result was to only make him wet his pants and therefore humiliate him. Recently, high school and college hazing practices have gained national attention and many schools have strictly forbidden any hazing practices, with the promise of dire consequences if such practices are uncovered.