Fraternity Membership, Traditional Masculinity Ideologies, and Impersonal Sex: Selection and Socialization Effects


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Abstract

Fraternity culture perpetuates traditional masculinity ideologies, but little research has considered the process by which men internalize these ideologies. Men may select into fraternities based on preexisting ideologies, or fraternities may have a socializing effect on ideologies. We used two longitudinal data sets to explore selection and socialization effects of fraternity membership on masculinity ideologies (gendered beliefs, gendered traits, and sexual double standard beliefs) and impersonal sex (sexual motives and multiple sex partners) among ethnically and racially diverse college men. Using Data set 1 (n = 166, M = 18.0 years old fall of first year), we explored the selection and socialization effects of fraternity membership on male role norms, masculine traits, and endorsement of the sexual double standard. Men who more strongly endorsed male role norms about status and the sexual double standard were more likely to join fraternities than other men, indicating selection effects. Using Data set 2 (n = 256, M = 18.5 years old fall of first year), we explored selection and socialization effects of fraternity membership on sex motives and multiple sex partners. We did not find much evidence for selection or socialization effects on sex motives and multiple sex partners. Our findings may inform intervention efforts for men before and during college.

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