Frat Bros: Feel like you're always vilified by a negative stereotype about fraternity members from the public at large? Good news: There are some interesting findings in a study co-authored by George Washington University graduate student Avery Mitchell. According to the study, college men who are NOT members of fraternities are more likely to have "hypermasculine attitudes and hostility toward women," defying the common stereotype. Via Inside Higher Education:
“I do not want to say that sexually aggressive attitudes are not apparent in fraternities – they were,” said study co-author Charles S. Corprew, an assistant psychology professor at Loyola University New Orleans. “But when we add hyper-masculinity and hostile attitudes toward women, the non-fraternity guys seem more threatening.”
So what accounts for the difference? Fraternities tend to have at least some level of education about the importance of sexual consent, assault and alcohol abuse, the chapters’ executive board members told Corprew, usually at mandatory events such as off-campus retreats.
“A lot of these organizations are very cognizant of what’s going on on college campuses and the fraternity and the hook-up culture that goes along with that,” he said. “They know that, the threat of their chapter and charter being revoked if anything nefarious happens.”
Also, the Inside Higher Education article offers some praise for the fraternity model of educating men:
Corprew’s findings could add to the evidence that that fraternity-style training is effective and should be broadened to the entire male student population, Issadore said, noting that mandatory education sometimes makes people uncomfortable. (The study notes research showing that consent training in fraternities has decreased the likelihood of sexual assault in those communities.)
For more details about the study, which included 217 male students, 81 of whom self-reported as fraternity members, from three Southern universities (two privates and one large research), go read the details in full at Inside Higher Education.