Difference Between Fraternity and Sorority

Fraternity vs Sorority

If you have heard or know about KKK, you probably have an inkling of fraternity, or brotherhood as it has come to be used for secret organizations. However, the word has roots coming from a Latin word frater that stands for brother in English. There is another word called sorority in English that confuses many as the two words fraternity and sorority connote similar meanings. However, there are differences that will be pointed out in this article.


Fraternity is a word that is used to denote all male societies and groupings. It is a word that has been in vogue in English language for quite some time, and of late, the emphasis on all male requirement was getting blurred, somewhat, with the word being used as student fraternity or writer’s fraternity implying it could include both males and females. There seemed to be no gender bias in the word.


Sorority is a word coined to get an equivalent of a fraternity so as to have organizations that were made up of females only. It was as late as 1874 that the word came into existence, when it was used to refer to an all female society called Gamma Phi Beta at Syracuse University. Despite the word sorority coming into existence, there are female societies and organizations that prefer to be called woman fraternities instead. The members of a sorority are all siblings, in fact, sisters as they refer to each other.


What is the difference between Fraternity and Sorority?

• Though fraternity is used for all male societies, it has become gender free as it has come to be used for student fraternity or writer’s fraternity.

• To coin a term equivalent for females, the word fraternity was proposed.

• Many sororities prefer to be labeled women’s fraternities.

• Members of a fraternity are all brothers while members of a sorority are all sisters.

• Fraternity comes from Latin frater meaning brother while sorority comes from Latin soror meaning sister.