Why Is the Frat Boy Culture So Sleazy and Sex-Crazed?
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-- regardless of the women’s own feelings or desires
-- goes without saying for this brother. Indeed, he uses the verb
"conquering" to describe what seems to be otherwise consensual sex. Finally, some brothers simply compete with each other to see who can have the most sexual encounters in a year. Like the infamous Spur Posse of 1990s Lakewood, California, these men keep a tally to determine who is the winner in a competition that has little with to do with the pleasure that may be gained from sexual acts themselves, and everything to do with bolstering one’s self-esteem and reputation through the perceived connections between masculinity and sexual exploitation. It is predicated on a double standard that sees women as lesser than men and as possessing something that must be coerced from them.
This version of sexually aggressive masculinity is not inevitable. The first generation of fraternity men would not have recognized it because they did not live in a world that denigrated their intimacy or encouraged them to prove their masculinity through sexual conquest, at least not to the degree that we see today. Of course not all fraternity men necessarily practice it, and just how many of them subscribe to this version of masculinity is impossible to calculate. That said, it should not surprise us that the structure and the historical context of the fraternity give rise to this phenomenon: an all-male organization intent on proving masculinity in a world where masculinity is seen as antithetical to intimacy amongst men, because that intimacy is too often understood to be
"gay." Until fraternity men learn to be more comfortable with the intimacy fostered through the bonds of brotherhood without demanding its concurrent disavowal through homophobia and the conquest of women, it seems unlikely that women will be much safer on college campuses with active Greek populations.