What Is Title IX? – The New York Times

On June 23, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon signed an omnibus education bill that would change the paths of millions of women and girls in the United States. At first glance, the sweep conveyed by the words themselves can be hard to recognize.

Title IX was part of a long list of education amendments to the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, buried amid antibusing policies and outlines of federal financial aid funding. In just 37 words, the statute guaranteed to mean equal access to education for women.

No person in the United States, On the basis of sex, be excluded from participation, be denied benefits, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Lawmakers used the Framing for Civil Rights Act but intentionally downplayed the policy’s importance to assure its passage through Congress. Fifty years later, Title IX continues to reverberate around the country, ushering in a new era of women’s sports and a framework for handling sexual misconduct complaints on campus.

“Part I of the beauty of Title IX is its breadth and comprehensiveness. It’s a ban without creating an exhaustive list, “said Wendy Mink, whose mother, Rep. Patsy Mink, Democrat of Hawaii, was one of the lawmakers to spearhead the policy. The official name of Title IX was changed to the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act after Mink’s death in 2002.

“It’s open to interpretation and application,” Wendy Mink said. “She wanted to make sure each of the interpretations would not only be applied but enforced.”

The most visible changes were seen in gymnasiums, fields and courts across the United States – young women were entitled to the same athletic opportunities as their male counterparts at schools. According to a study by the Women’s Sports Foundation, high school participation rose from 294,015 in the 1971-72 school year to 3.4 million in 2018-19 (participation by boys was 3.67 million in 1971-72 and 4.53 million in 2018-19). At the collegiate level, participation at NCAA schools rose from 29,977 athletes in women’s sports in 1971-72 to 215,486 in 2020-21. Men’s sports had 275,769 athletes in 2020-21.

“Even my father couldn’t have predicted the profound impact it had made over the last 50 years,” said former Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana. His father, Senator Birch Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, sponsored Title IX in the Senate. “He had hopes; He had aspirations, “Evan Bayh said. “I think he would be very pleased and pleasantly surprised to see the difference it made.”

Title IX prohibits sex discrimination at educational institutions that receive federal funding in primary, secondary and higher education. Although the statute is short, the Supreme Court and the US Department of Education have solidified its broad scope, including its purview over sexual assault and harassment on school campuses. According to the Education Department, Title IX applies to about 17,600 local school districts and more than 5,000 postsecondary institutions, as well as charter schools, for-profit schools, libraries and museums. It covers both students and employees.

Title IX was signed into law in 1972, yet the Office of Civil Rights did not adopt an intercollegiate athletics policy to determine compliance measures until 1979.

The Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights oversees compliance with Title IX and investigates multiple types of discrimination, including regards to admissions, athletics, recruitment, discipline, gender harassment, scholarships and sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Under Title IX regulations, any educational institution that receives federal funding must designate at least one employee to serve as its Title IX Coordinator. The coordinator is responsible for compliance, including any Title IX complaints. The Education Department has about 3,600 pending investigations, of which roughly 1,300 include a Title IX issue.

Schools are rarely stripped of their funding and usually resolve Title IX problems voluntarily.

Dr. Courtney Flowers, an associate professor of sports management at Texas Southern University and a co-author of the Women’s Sports Foundation report, said compliance could improve, as did the shortfalls in sports that have not been linked to Title IX.

“Across the board, we’ve all won,” Flowers said. “But sometimes, we have to recalibrate and make sure that in the next 50 years we’re not saying the same thing and advocating for the same thing and figure out what does equity look like now?”

While Title IX’s intentions are to broaden and encompassing certain rights for many women and girls, white women have benefited the most.

Title IX does not directly address race, gender identity, disabilities or other characteristics besides sex. The Women’s Sports Foundation found that white, Asian, Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and other girls and women were doing lower levels than white women in the sport. The same was true for women with disabilities compared with men who had disabilities.

Women of color are also underrepresented in athletic leadership.

Title IX falls under the executive branch and is therefore subject to interpretation by each administration. In 2021, the Education Department said the protection of Title IX would extend to transgender students, reversing a policy under the presidency of Donald J. Trump that essentially did the opposite.

The new regulations are expected to be formally announced soon by the Biden administration and will most likely look like what was telegraphed in 2021. As proposed, the guidance would officially make protecting transgender students a federal legal requirement of Title IX.

Still, it is not clear what that might mean for sports participation, amid contentious debate throughout the sports world about whether transgender women should be allowed to compete in women’s divisions.

Some major sports federations have heavily restricted transgender women from competing in women’s divisions. FINA, the world governing body for swimming, voted to prohibit transgender women from competing until they began suppressing medical treatments before going through one of the early stages of puberty, or by age 12, whichever occurred later. It is one of the strictest rules against transgender participation in international sports.

Nearly 20 states There are enacted laws or issued statewide rules that bar or limit transgender sports participation.

Title IX, for now, is likely to be used by lawmakers to push for more inclusion or exclusion of transgender women in women’s divisions. The law, an education policy at its core, enjoys broad support by both the public and Republican and Democrat lawmakers.

Leave a Comment