Rush to Join Us: Compulsory Heterosexuality in Greek Letter Organizations

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Rush to Join Us: Compulsory Heterosexuality in Greek Letter Organizations

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2022-04

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The social power observed within collegiate fraternities and sororities has long been a source of interest for many social psychologists in observing the organization’s social influences and their ability to foster group mentality amongst their group members. Little research, however, has been conducted in analyzing how these groups’ powerful socialization techniques can influence the behavior of their queer members and their ability to instill an environment for compulsory heterosexuality within their spheres. This literature review seeks to define and investigate the relationship of social-collegiate fraternities and sororities in influencing compulsory heterosexuality behavior in their members. This review breaks down the components of compulsory heterosexuality (heteronormativity, sexism and gender expectations, and social desirability) and addresses the ways in which collegiate Greek Letter Organizations (GLOs) adhere to this phenomenon by examining their influence on identity formation, heteronormativity, and sexism and gender expectations. This review also warns against some of the dangerous consequences of this unchecked environment by specifically examining the relationship between compulsory heterosexuality and the fostering of toxic masculinity and the prevalence of rape culture within fraternities.

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Faculty Mentor: Caprice Niccoli

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This project was sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

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Langsev, Megan. (2022). Rush to Join Us: Compulsory Heterosexuality in Greek Letter Organizations. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/261420.

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