Difference between Fraternity and Sorority

Key difference: A striking difference between a Fraternity and a Sorority is that the former constitutes of male members, while the latter is an organization comprising only of females.

The terms fraternity and sorority can be thought similar by a person who does not have the proper knowledge about them. Mostly, fraternity and sorority are words that are associated with a university, college, students, etc. Naturally, the students studying at educational institutions like a university or a college have some inkling about what do a  fraternity or a sorority entail, but for those who don’t study at such places, these words are like an unsolved mystery. Which is why, knowing what these words mean becomes all the more important.

The word fraternity is an evolution of the Latin word ‘Fraternus’, which means brother. So fraternity is essentially an organization consisting of male members that share a common purpose. The gist of fraternizing is to share one’s coveted feelings with one’s peers of the fraternity, as one would do with his brother. Fraternities thrive on the growth of their population and the harmony existing among all members. A fraternity may be based upon any common purpose, aim, philosophy, goal, etc. which compels its members to earnestly strive in the direction of achieving the set goal. This is what unites them all in one bond, which is the bond of brotherhood. Peaceful co-existence, observance of collective harmony, helping each other mutually in realizing the overall objective, etc., are some of the pillars that a fraternity stands on.

Like fraternity, the word sorority has also evolved from a Latin word, ‘Soror’, which means sister. As one would expect, sorority is the female equivalent of fraternity. To put it simply, sorority is an organization consisting only of female members that come together for a common cause. The essence of sorority is also on the same lines of fraternity. Mutual progressions in harmony, peaceful coexistence, accountability for one another, etc. are some of the qualities that one can learn from being in a sorority. A sorority is pretty much everything what a fraternity is all about, except that a fraternity primarily consists of male members, while a sorority consists only of female members.

This is the most prominent and probably the only noticeable difference between both these organizations. However, there have also been establishments of ‘women fraternities’ in many parts of the world. Essentially, these women fraternities would be the same as a sorority and can also be called as one, but the women prefix is possibly added to lay emphasis on the women-oriented themes of such organizations. Of late, many writer fraternities, or student fraternities, etc. have also come into existence. Fraternities with exclusive male membership aren’t a norm either. It’s all becoming flexible by the day. So, apart from these differences, there isn’t actually much between a fraternity and a sorority, which in a way vaguely justifies the people mistaking these terms to be the same.

Comparison between Fraternity and Sorority:

 

Fraternity

Sorority

Origin

Latin

Latin

Word of origin

‘Frater’ or ‘Fraternus’

‘Soror’

Meaning

An organization consisting of male members that share a common purpose.

An organization consisting only of female members that come together for a common cause.

Membership

Male/Female

Female only

Mainly found at

Universities, colleges, etc.

Universities, colleges, etc.

Image Courtesy: futurereads.com, shalomlife.com

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