Over the past two weeks, I have been rushing a sorority. I would definitely categorize these past two weeks as some of the most stressful in my entire life. You have to be dressed up each day, it is super time-consuming, and you sit and talk to people you do not know under several constrictive rules. Why go through this? Being a part of Greek life definitely has it benefits. It helps with landing a job, makes you meet new people and branch out, encourages community service and giving back- the list goes on and on. One thing people look forward to the most is the social aspect. College alone has a huge reputation for drinking, but of course, like all things, that statistic does not pertain to everyone. Sororities and fraternities have frequently planned socials. As an extravert who does not like to miss out on anything, I questioned, will Greek life increase my drinking? Luckily, a study has been done to provide me with the information I have been looking for. Let’s take a look.
An observational study was conducted that measured the amount of binge drinking college students do that do not participate in Greek life in comparison with college students that do participate in Greek life. This was documented by Henry Wechsler, George Kuh, and Andrea E. Davenport, all of whom are college professors. A set of questions were sent out to fraternities, sororities, and unassociated Greek life students at 115 colleges across the United States. 14, 756 students participated and filled out the questionnaire. Questions consisted of the importance of drinking, the amount of drinks consumed within a certain range of time, and the amount of times you go out to social events with the presence of alcohol.
The results were ultimately very intriguing. Men and women associated with Greek life find drinking to be three times more important than those not in Greek life. 86% of the fraternity brothers binge drink and over 3/4 of sorority members claim they binge drink in college. All parts of Greek life admitted to drink more in college than they had previously in their high school years. Many problems surface with binge drinking. Fraternity members spoke of more fights breaking out, lower grades, and disrupted sleep than non-Greek college students.
Conclusively, this study provides evidence that agrees with the hypothesis that Greek Life increases the amount of alcohol you consume regularly. Joining a sorority/fraternity has many positive attributes and can be a great experience. With every positive comes a possible negative. Direct causality is seen here as Greek life causes more drinking. However, reverse causality is not possible due to the fact drinking cannot cause Greek life. A confounding variable could cause both, yet it was not tested in this study. Caution: do not be opposed to joining Greek life at your school because you do not like to heavily drink. Warning: many heavily drinking events are likely to go on that other members will be a part of. So, I am still thrilled to be a part of a sorority, and I am definitely not going to tell my mom about this study.
Feel free to check out this video on some of the negative affects alcohol has on your body!