That iconic image of bitchy sorority girls using a marker to circle the “fat” on a pledge’s body may not exactly reflect real life. But sadly, body image issues were disproportionately tilted towards those sorority wannabes according to a new study published in the journal Sex Roles. Ashley Marie Rolnik, who performed the study of 127 first-year college women at an anonymous Midwestern university, found that the ones who pledged rush week were more likely to judge their bodies by others standards and to have eating disordered behavior.In Rolnik’s study, she examined first-year college students between the ages of 17 and 20, half who were pledging rush week and half who were were not. At four different points in the rush process — before rush, a few days into rush, the day the bids to join are received, and a month after rush — the study participants filled out an online questionnaire. Not entirely surprisingly, pledges reported the most dissatisfaction with their bodies and eating disordered behavior, like bulimia, both during rush and one month after rush. Not only that, but women with larger body sizes (although not overweight) were most likely to drop out of the rush process and report a negative view of it.
Still, it’s not like we needed a study to figure out that young women who basically enter into a popularity contest with their peers might have self-image issues. What’s next, beauty pageant contestants have body image issues, too? [Medical News Today]