The “Frat Boy”

I want to talk about something that every college girl should be hyper aware of. I am sure most of you have heard the term “frat boy,” but I aim to dig a little deeper. I want to explain exactly what the stereotype of “frat boy” is; and how that stereotype is sometimes right on point. If you are trying to find a boyfriend, a “frat star” is definitely not the type of guy you should be looking for. Now, of course I know we cannot generalize and say that every boy in a frat acts the same. But I am simply explaining this situation from my experience. I have interviewed two guys that are in a fraternity in order to get more insight on how they think about things. 

Before talking about what I learned from these “frat boys,” I want to explain my experience with them. Since the minute I entered college I was a sorority girl, so I immediately became surrounded by fraternity guys. As a freshman, of course I did not know what was best for me and I got involved with a guy who had just become a pledge to a fraternity at my school. For those of you who don’t know, most college boys just want to have fun and hook up with as many girls as possible so that they can prove they are the alpha male to their frat brothers; it seems to be a pride thing from experience. I learned this later on in my college career but it was confirmed by a fraternity brother at JMU whom I interviewed. He explained that getting into college most guys do not have a romantic relationship on their mind. I learned this after becoming attached to two different frat boys my freshman year and being let down. And of course we can’t forget my 7 month “non-relationship” that was indeed with a frat boy. 

During my freshman year, I was consistently with a frat boy in my dorm and just like I let my sophomore year boy take advantage of my feelings, this freshman boy pretended to care as well, and that is just the honest truth. We would go out and the nights he wanted me he got me and the nights I saw him kissing other girls, he didn’t remember because of how much alcohol had been consumed. As I write this, I realize how similar this situation sounds to my situation from sophomore year. Apparently I have a type; and that type is a frat boy player. As a result of this, I was hurt many times by frat boys which is of course why I have such a negative outlook towards them. To find out what goes on in their minds, I interviewed two fraternity brothers who attend different schools to see if they think similarly. 

I asked them what their type of girl is and one responded with, “honestly hot, I’ll settle for attractive and if I’m drunk enough, then whatever.”  The second boy responded with, “a girl that is down for basically anything.” Again, we cannot generalize and say that every frat guy thinks this way, but I will say these responses alone may show the player mindset of a “frat boy.”

I then asked them, “if you had the chance to tell a girl how to pursue you and become your girlfriend what would you tell them to do?” Instead of giving me a straight answer, the guys explained what goes through a frat guys head when it comes to commitment and relationships. One explained that the majority of college guys want to stay single for their own selfish reasons. They both explained that guys are way less in touch with their emotions and when they might feel themselves liking a girl, they will talk themselves out of it because they are either not mature enough or simply not ready to dedicate the time to one person. They both shared that they are scared of commitment and when I asked why, neither had an actual answer. 

When trying to figure out why these frat guys really don’t like commitment or relationships, I asked if they believed being in a frat affects the way they treat girls and both immediately agreed that it did. One said, “being in a frat makes sex seem way more casual and transactional, but it should technically be that way in college. It can definitely poison your view of how an interaction should go with a girl.” He explained that seeing your fraternity brothers hooking up with multiple girls each weekend makes you think that this is the right way to act. It almost makes you want to act that way so that you can prove yourself and stand out in the fraternity. I’ve learned that a lot of this “frat boy” stereotype comes from pride and wanting to fit in. It is also based on pleasure, of course and a lot of the times these boys genuinely only think about themselves when they do things. I asked if they ever think about the girls feelings when they hook up with someone else and they explained that guys will pretty much disassociate the feelings of the girl because in their minds, the girl is just being crazy when they ask to hangout more than a few times. They basically said that they are just not mature enough or ready for a relationship and explained that, “honestly I am focused on myself and my career and don’t wanna worry about another person before I have to.” Of course this response sounds corrupt, but that just exemplifies the way many frat boys think and explains why they treat girls the way they do. One of them even thought that saying something to a girl in the moment to make them happy, is worth the girl being hurt later on when they realize these words were a lie. They thought that this temporary happiness was enough; I clearly explained why that thought process was morally incorrect. 

When it comes down to it, again I cannot say that every frat boy acts in this manner, but I can definitely say that fraternities have an effect on the way a guy treats a girl throughout college. Many fraternities set the precedent, exemplify, and encourage this type of behavior towards girls. When the real world hits, and it isn’t that easy to “get a girl” anymore, us women will be in control and these “frat boys” will learn that treating girls this way does not work.  If these boys in fraternities continue to act immaturely and refuse to acknowledge their own flaws, they will most likely find themselves alone. 



By Hannah Sternberg

Hannah is a rising Senior at James Madison University majoring in the School of Media Arts and Design with a concentration of Broadcast Journalism. She works for her schools weekly newscast called Breeze TV as a reporter in training and this year will become a full time reporter. Her dream is to become a reporter but she also enjoys the entertainment production industry. One of her favorite things to do to relieve stress is dancing. 

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