Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs or activities, provides the cornerstone of federal law ensuring equal educational opportunity. To name just one of its benefits, Title IX has greatly expanded athletic opportunities for women and girls.
The National Women's Law Center reports that when Title IX was first enacted 1972, girls made up only 7.4 percent of all high school athletes; girls were 40 percent of all high school athletes by 2000. Similarly, in 1972, fewer than 32,000 women participated in intercollegiate athletics, receiving only 2 percent of all athletic dollars; by 2000, that number had quadrupled, with women comprising 40 percent of all college athletes. However, women athletes, despite their numbers, still struggle for equal access to opportunities and facilities.
Advocates of Title IX also point to the need to address sex segregation in technical, vocational, and career education programs in junior and community colleges, the issue of sex-based differentials in the SAT and other standardized tests that do not accurately predict academic performance, and the need for affordable and adequate child care for low-income mothers to enable them to pursue higher education.
More about Title IX
- Title IX at 35 - Progress Measured, Gaps Remaining - National Organization for Women - 1/25/08
- Title IX at 35: Beyond the Headlines (pdf) - Report - National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education - January 2008
- Title IX Resources - National Women's Law Center - June 2007
- AAUW Celebrates 35th Anniversary of Title IX - AAUW - 6/21/07
- Legislative History of Title IX - National Organization for Women - June 2007
- Not Just About Sports, But Overall Equality - 02/10/03
- An Uneven Playing Field: Title IX and Women’s Athletics - 07/02/02
Department of Education Policy
- Victory for Title IX Supporters - 07/17/03
- Title IX Supporters Say New Policy Guidance Weakens Law - 06/28/05
- LCCR Letter to Gerald Reynolds re: Same-Sex Education - 11/04/02
- Single-Sex Proposed Regulations Comments - 04/23/04
- Title IX Enforcement Needed - 11/07/02
Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education
In March 2005, the Supreme Court ruled to expand the scope of Title IX to protect whistleblowers who report academic institutions that discriminate against students based on gender.
- Civil Rights Groups Score Title IX Victory in Supreme Court - 03/29/05
- Supreme Court: Title IX Prohibits Retaliation - 03/29/05
- From the Sidelines to the Courtroom: Girls' Coach Sues Under Title IX - 12/08/04
National Wrestling Coaches Association v. Department of Education
In May 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuit claiming men's sports teams are discriminated against because of Title IX.
National Collegiate Athletic Association vs. Smith
In February 1999, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is not automatically covered by the anti-discrimination laws that apply to its member schools.
- Supreme Court Issues Narrow Ruling in Title IX Case - Civil Rights Monitor, Summer 1999
Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District and Davis v. Monroe County School District
In separate cases in 1998 and 1999, the Supreme Court made clear that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires schools to take action to prevent and stop the harassment of students by teachers or other students. Those decisions, however, also severely limited the circumstances under which victims of such harassment may receive money damages for their injuries.
- Supreme Court Upholds Student Rights in Sexual Harassment Case - Civil Rights Monitor, Summer 1999
- Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument In Student Sexual Harassment Case - Civil Rights Monitor, Winter/Spring 1999
Cohen v. Brown University
In April 1997, the Supreme Court declined to review a Court of Appeals ruling that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires an educational institution that receives federal funds to provide opportunities to participate in athletics proportionate to the school's enrollment of women and men or demonstrate that it is expanding its sports programs to accommodate the interests and abilities of all its students.
- Supreme Court Lets Stand Sex Equity in Sports Ruling - Civil Rights Monitor, Spring/Summer 1997
Grove City v. Bell
In 1984, the Supreme Court interpreted Title IX very narrowly in Grove City v. Bell, constraining its protections to the limited program within an institution that actually received federal funding - e.g., a college's financial aid department - rather than covering the educational institution as a whole. Under this interpretation, athletic programs (considered to be among the most unequal of all college and university programs) were virtually immune from Title IX scrutiny because they rarely receive direct federal funding. This decision was legislatively reversed with the enactment of the Civil Rights Restoration Act in 1988.