Monday, March 15, 2010

Sororities and body image

Sororities are female societies in U.S. universities. They can provide students with opportunities for personal growth and enrichment but have also been criticised for leading their members to focus excessively on their appearance. Ashley Rolnik from Northwestern University in Illinois studied 127 first-year college students. Half went through the 'rush' process of sorority recruitment while the other half did not take part. Before the rush, a few days into it, on 'bid day' and one month after rush the students filled out questionnaires about their body image and eating behaviour. The students taking part in the rush process had higher levels of self-objectification - judging their bodies from an outsider's perspective - and more disordered eating behaviours than those who did not take part. A month after rush new sorority members also had higher levels of body shame. Women with higher - though still healthy - body weights were more likely to drop out of the rush process and feel dissatisfied with it.

You can find out more about this research at

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