Selection and socialization accounts of the relation between fraternity membership and sexual aggression.

Teresa A. Treat, William R. Corbin, Anna Papova, Kailey Richner, Raquel Craney, Kim Fromme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: The current project aims to enhance our understanding of the well-established relation between fraternity membership and sexual aggression on college campuses. Most prior research has been cross-sectional and unable to distinguish selection and socialization accounts of the relation, and only one prior longitudinal study has simultaneously examined selection and socialization effects. Method: Fraternity membership, sexual aggression, binge drinking, sociosexual attitudes and behaviors, and perceived peer sexual aggression were assessed for 772 male participants (n = 116 fraternity members) in a longitudinal survey study from the summer prior to college through Year 2 of college. Results: Longitudinal path analyses revealed three key findings. First, fraternity membership was prospectively correlated with sexual aggression in Years 1 and 2 of college (socialization effect), controlling for selection effects, when the two prospective paths were constrained to be equivalent. Second, more frequent binge drinking and sociosexual attitudes prior to college prospectively correlated with an increased likelihood of joining a fraternity (selection effect), and both selection variables indirectly correlated with future sexual aggression via fraternity membership. Third, fraternity membership was associated with increased binge drinking and perceived peer sexual aggression (socialization effects). Conclusions: These findings identify critical targets for the prevention of sexually aggressive behavior that are linked to fraternity membership: Binge drinking and sociosexual attitudes. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved) Public Health Significance Statement: Fraternity membership is associated with an increased likelihood that college men engage in sexual aggression, even after considering past sexual aggression and variables that predict joining a fraternity (i.e., binge drinking and a preference for casual sex).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-350
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 25 2021


  • binge drinking
  • fraternities
  • peer influence
  • sexual aggression
  • sociosexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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