Everyone already knows that fraternities are hotbeds for gay action — with college-aged dudes who prefer bromances over girlfriends and become more open to gay sex when drunk — but there’s sometimes a dark side to all this: dangerous fraternity hazing rituals.
In fact, 21 members of the Pi Alpha Nu fraternity at State University of New York (SUNY) Plattsburgh, a New York college, are currently facing charges over for allegedly urinating and vomiting on pledges, forcing them to consume alcohol and “forcing them to eat food off the floor.”
Charges for fraternity hazing
In September 2017, SUNY Plattsburgh began receiving reports of Pi Alpha Nu fraternity pledges having their buttocks paddled and other demeaning abuse. Since investigating, campus police have also received reports that the fraternity gave alcohol to students under the legal drinking age of 21.
The alleged activities took place off-campus last February and this September. The fraternity has since been suspended from campus. Six other former SUNY Plattsburgh students are expected to face charges.
The psychology of fraternity hazing rituals
Hazing rituals have a long and homoerotic history in fraternities and the military, which makes sense considering that men in such groups often live in close quarters and share showers, bathrooms and changing areas while also experiencing a need for sexual expression.
Jane Ward, author of Not Gay: Sex between Straight White Men, says that the thinking surrounding these rituals is, “If you endure together this kind of mortifying, humiliating and embarrassing homosexual act, then that not only toughens up your body, but it will also build and strengthen that bond around you.”
Other common fraternity hazing rituals
Other such homoerotic rituals involve forced nudity; eating food off of each other’s bodies; spankings, floggings and forcible sodomy; elaborate and intrusive naked ceremonies and something called “the elephant walk” in which a circular chain of men hold one another’s genitals or insert their thumbs into one another’s rectums.
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