I was just reading this passage from William Marston’s psychological treatise, Emotions of Normal People, in which he describes his scientific observations of sorority initiation rites. And…well, I couldn’t resist sharing. Enjoy!
In the spring of the freshmen year, the sophomore girls held what was called “The Baby Party”, which all freshmen girls were compelled to attend. At this affair, the freshmen girls were questioned as to their misdemeanors and punished for their disobediences and rebellions. The baby party was so named because the freshmen girls were required to dress like babies.
At the party, the freshmen girls were put through various stunts under command of the sophomores. Upon one occasion, for instance, the freshman girls were led into a dark corridor where their eyes were blindfolded, and their arms were bound behind them. Only one freshman at a time was taken through this corridor along which sophomore guards were stationed at intervals. This arrangement was designed to impress the girls punished with the impossibility of escape from their captresses. After a series of harmless punishments, each girl was led into a large room where all the Junior and Senior girls were assembled. There she was sentenced to go through various exhibitions, supposed to be especially suitable to punish each particular girl’s failure to submit to discipline imposed by the upper class girls. The sophomore girls carried long sticks with which to enforce, if necessary, the stunts which the freshman were required to perform. While the programmed did not call for a series of pre-arranged physical struggles between individual girls…frequent rebellion of the freshman against the commands of their captresses and guards furnished the most exciting portion of the entertainment according to the report of a majority of the class girls.
Nearly all the sophomores reported excited pleasantness of captivation emotion throughout the party. The pleasantness of their captivation responses appeared to increase when they were obliged to overcome rebellious freshman physically, or to induce them by repeated commands and added punishments to perform the actions from which the captive girls strove to escape….
Female behaviour also contains still more evidence than male behaviour that captivation emotion is not limited to inter-sex relationships. [Marston's emphasis] The person of another girl seems to evoke from female subjects, under appropriate circumstances, fully as strong captivation response as does that of a male.
Dr. Psycho, a psychologist like Marston, is forced to participate in sorority hazing rituals, from Marston/Peter’s Wonder Woman #5.
The index for our ongoing roundtable on Marston’s Wonder Woman is here.