Happy 40th, Title IX!
This month marks the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, originally passed by Congress and signed by President Richard M. Nixon as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 on June 23, 1972. Broadly speaking, Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education.
Title IX states, "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
Some other facts about Title IX, developed by the National Women's Law Center, include:
- Creating Sports Opportunities: Title IX requires schools and colleges that receive federal finds to give women and girls an equal chance to play sports. Schools and colleges must also treat men and women equally when it comes to athletic scholarships, equipment, coaching and facilities.
- But Title IX Isn't Only About Athletics: The laws impact on athletics is simply what most of us know best. The law applies to all aspects of education, including career and vocational programs, admissions, employment policies, standardized testing, and treatment of pregnant and parenting teens.
- Growing Athletes, Male and Female: Since Title IX's passage, the number of male and female student athletes has increased, male college athletes from 170,384 in 1972 to 208,866 in 2001; female college athletes from 31,852 in 1972 to 150,916 in 2001. At the high school level, the number of high school girls playing sports in 1972 was less than 300,000. In 2001, 2.78 million girls were playing competitive sports at the high school level.
- More to Do: According to the National Women's Law Center, women comprise 53 percent of the student body at Division I colleges, but are just 41 percent of the athletes, receive just 32 percent of recruiting dollars and get only 36 percent of overall athletic operating budgets. At the high school level, the situation can be far worse.
- Title IX Does Not Do Everything: It does not mandate "quotas." "A school can comply with Title IX by showing that it is trying to expand opportunities for female athletes or that it is accommodating the interests of female students at the school."
The National Coalition for Women & Girls in Education has put together a detailed report on Title IX after 40 years, which can be found at http://www.ncwge.org/PDF/TitleIXat40.pdf.