This initiation ritual is actually not a true one. It was told by a participating pledge to my informant and explained that at the time of their initiation they were not aware that the ritual described here was untrue and in fact were expecting to have to go through it :

“They tell them that at some point they’re all gonna have to get into a room and in the center of the room is a goat.

And no one can leave the room until someone fucks the goat.

But whoever fucks the goat…is automatically out.”

The ultimate goal of initiation is to prove yourself worthy of joining the organization which is testing you. You undergo horribly straining situations most often physical or moral to prove your worth, but most importantly, your willingness to be a loyal member of this organization. This particular supposed initiation used for fraternities plays on fears of transgression and exclusion. It also acts as a riddle and in this sense tests not just the physical endurance and integrity of the pledges as most initiations do – but also tests their mind.

Since pledges are alerted about this upcoming initiation beforehand by their older “brothers”, they would certainly begin discussing methods of facing this challenge. Some would hope to simply sit out the challenge in solidarity with their pledge brothers, but older brothers would complicate this by saying if no one has sex with the goat then no one passes. The fear instigated by this initiation’s seeming impossible nature and certain shame and failure to the pledge who sacrifices for his fellow brothers creates a conundrum initiation for all the pledges.