It seems as though every time I mention to someone who’s unaffiliated with a sorority that I’m in one, I get some variation on “Oh, you had to buy your friends.” While we know that it’s untrue, there’s oftentimes a perception from the “outside” world that sorority women just had to join a sorority in college in order to be happy. Well, now when someone says something along those lines to you, you can shut them down — using science.
In a study published in “Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisor”, UPenn psychologist Melissa Hunt, along with student Colleen Kase, examined 1,395 freshman girls at the university, surveying at four different points throughout the year, including just before and just after recruitment.
What they found may surprise some sorority nay-sayers:
We had hypothesized that women who planned to rush would be hungry for connection and belonging,” Hunt said. “Instead, we found that most women who definitely planned to rush were uniformly happy, extroverted, and already had a sense of belonging.
So we didn’t need to buy our friends? Interesting.
The news isn’t all good, though. Overall, the recruitment process did hinder the self-esteem of all participants, at least temporarily:
“Rush seems like such a superficial, one-way, I just got judged based off a 5-minute conversation type situation, which can be extremely unnerving, especially for college freshman who honestly are just looking for more friends,” said rising Wharton sophomore Sanika Puranik, a member of Sigma Kappa sorority.
The study found that the blow to self-esteem was particularly difficult for the women who did not get bids. These women, who displayed overall self-esteem issues and comprised the largest group in the study, likely would benefit from the most from sorority member, according to Hunt. Therefore, based on the study’s results, she asserts that recruitment should be modified, stating “Colleen Kase and I both believe that national rush guidelines should be amended to allow women to visit only the sororities they are interested in joining. This would decrease the number of potential ‘rejections’ and would also mean women would have to spend less time engaged in superficial, brief visits to large numbers of houses.”.
[via The Daily Pennsylvanian]
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