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April 28, 1993

Fraternity Hazing Revisited Through a Drawing by George Bellows

JAMA. 1993;269(16):2113-2115. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500160083037

IN 1985, Leslie et al1 described a series of 168 cases of injuries and deaths related to fraternity hazing activities occurring in the United States between 1923 and 1982. This was the first article in the literature to address the medical hazards of fraternity hazing. Hazing has reportedly existed on the campuses of American universities since the mid-19th century, but documentation of a specific incident was unavailable at the time of the original research. The extent of hazing-related injuries and deaths is still unknown because of concealment of the activity by student participants and lack of recognition by professionals who treat students for a variety of injuries of undetermined origin. The types of injuries previously reported included those from blunt force (beatings, paddling, motor vehicle crashes, pedestrian accidents, and falls from height), burns (including chemical burns, branding, and immolation), cold exposure, heat exhaustion, acute ethanol intoxication, food and laxative