High School Hazing

An overview of harmful initiation ceremonies among high school students known as hazing.

Hazing is defined as any humiliating or dangerous activity expected of a student in order to join a group, regardless of the willingness of the student to participate. This paper examines research that shows the negative effects of hazing on high school pupils. It also examines some of the research that claims positive effects and provides a closing argument against this initiation process.
“Pledging and hazing are an ingrained part of the teenage subculture and the underlying reason is that students want a process with rites of passage (Ruffins Pp). Sociology professor Richard Sigal writes, “In a world that changes so rapidly, on every front, people need anchors” (Nuwer pp. 5). The need to belong is a basic human desire. Forming a sense of identity and belonging is a major developmental task for young people and initiation rites are activities that are expected in order to become a member of a group (Hoover, Pollard Pp). The need to initiate new members exist from tribal societies to executive boards and typically involves learning the history of the group and overcoming physical challenges (Hoover, Pollard Pp). However, modern culture affords few opportunities for young people to participate in adult-guided initiations or rites of passages, therefore teenagers create their own which unfortunately often lead to dangerous or illegal behavior (Hoover, Pollard Pp, essays online free english).”