Alcohol & Hazing

Hazing does not necessarily involve alcohol; however, alcohol consumption may be a contributing factor in hazing. Forced consumption of alcohol is never good. Implicit or explicit invitations for underage drinking are equally harmful. The psychological pressure to participate in drinking rituals or games can be as real as being physically forced to participate.

Alcohol consumption can impair one's judgment and this plays a role for both the current member's alcohol consumption and the new member's consumption. For the current members it may serve as a misguided excuse for the hazing incident: "we were drunk and things got out of hand." For new members, besides it being illegal, impaired judgment from drinking can decrease the resistance to engage in risky behavior. When the members of a group that is hazing become intoxicated, they may make disastrous decisions and turn a premeditated act of hazing into a tragedy.

Learn more about hazing and alcohol through research from Cornell University.