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The Effects of Title IX on Our Society

Professor Barke
Pol Sci 1101
April 19, 2005

Excelling in Athletics

The issue of Title IX is one of the Educational Amendments of 1972 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal assistance” (“What is Title IX?” Online). This law is a significant attempt by our government to create equality among all and prohibits the discrimination of any person based on sex. Under Title IX:
Males and females are expected to receive fair and equal treatment in all arenas of public schooling: recruitment, admissions, educational programs and activities, course offerings and access, counseling, financial aid, employment assistance, facilities and housing, health and insurance benefits, marital and parental status, scholarships, sexual harassment and athletics. (What is Title IX? Online).
This type of equal treatment will eliminate the chances of prejudice in any educational institution that is offered federal aid in the United States of America; elementary and secondary schools are included as well as colleges and universities. Our country is striving to become a place in which each person, by law, has an equal opportunity regardless of their sex or the color of their skin.
Title IX is an issue that seems to benefit women far more than it does men. The Feminist Majority Foundation claims that “as a result of Title IX, women and girls have benefited from more participation opportunities and more equitable facilities” (“Title IX Educational Amendments “Online) than ever before. Women today are entitled to just as many, if not more, athletic opportunities as men. Yet it still remains uncertain why women only account for 42.1% of athletes in NCAA institutions. The Feminist Majority foundation also adds that, “the progress women and girls have made under Title IX falls short of gender equality” (“Title IX Educational Amendments” Online).This just proves that while Title IX is doing great things for women in the athletic environment, it is still not enough. It is simply another small step towards gender equality in our world. Title IX was not intended to bring about inequality or push one gender ahead of the next. Rather, the intent was to bring about social equality within the federal system, and this goal is well on its way to being achieved.
On the other hand, many people see the implementation of Title IX as a bad thing that is harming male athletes: “the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and high school administrators complained that boys’ sports would suffer if girls’ sports had to be funded equally” (“Title IX Educational Amendments” Online). Some would say that funding for male sports is being taken away to aid in the financing of female sports that many women show little or not interest in at all anyways. The reality is that male sports do not have to suffer as a result of Title IX because it “is designed to create parity in athletic opportunity and quality of experience for men and women. It is a school’s choice to cut men’s programs in an effort to comply with the law or to meet budget constraints” (“What is Title IX?” Online). The goal is not to take anything away from one group or another; it is simply to create a sense of equality among young men and women athletes today.
Title IX is an issue that is based mainly on gender but has also had significant effects on race, especially concerning African-American females in sports today. Title IX has had positive effects on gender equality and has proven that racial discrimination is still very prevalent in athletics today. The Women’s Sports Foundation describes the concept of clustering as “a situation where athletes of color have very high participation rates in some sports but very low participation rates in others; e.g., male rates for athletes of color are very high in football but very low in swimming and diving” (“Title IX and Race in Intercollegiate Sport” Online). Clustering may be one of the larger problems that institutions face today, and is an issue that Title IX continues working to resolve. It is still unsure why this situation still exists but it is also very hard to prove that clustering is a result of Title IX. It has been proven that African American athletes excel in different areas than athletes of other races. This may be one explanation as to why, although Title IX works so diligently to prevent clustering, the issue still exists in government institutions today. On the other hand, The Women’s Sports Foundation also points out that “scholarship opportunities for male and female athletes of color are greater than their proportion within the athlete population” (“Title IX and Race in Intercollegiate Sport” Online). Although this is definitely a good thing for athletes of color, it proves yet another inequality in sports and that colored athletes have a slight advantage over white athletes in terms of scholarship and financial rewards. However, this is still not the intention of the Title IX bill. The creators of the bill only desired to ensure equality among African American and other students. There was no intent to prevent any other student from being at a disadvantage when being considered for a scholarship.
These scholarships and the financial aid offered by the institutions have done their part in significantly increasing the number of colored athletes that go on to higher levels of education. In the case of female athletes of color, “there was a 955% increase in participation opportunities from 1971 to 2000 (2,137 to 22,541 participants respectively)” (“Title IX and Race in Intercollegiate Sport” Online). Title IX has proved to be beneficial to colored students in that it allows them a large opportunity to excel in their academics and in school. But does it really work? Even though thousands of dollars are spent to provide better opportunities to colored athletes, “graduation rates of both female and male athletes of color were significantly lower than the corresponding rates for white athletes” and “students of color face unique challenges throughout their undergraduate educational experience” (“Title IX and Race in Intercollegiate Sport” Online). Title IX is no cure-all to fix our nations problems with inequality, but every little step we take is bringing our nation closer to racial equality.
All in all, Title IX appears to be a working force in our society today. It has given people of all race and gender the opportunity to prove themselves in the athletic world today regardless of the color of their skin or their sex. The women’s sports foundation states that “historically, both race and sex discrimination had shaped the patterns of institutional opportunity in sports and higher education” (“Title IX and Race in Intercollegiate Sport” Online). Today, a student cannot be discriminated against at all, regardless of the circumstances. It is now required that all federally funded schools comply with this law or they run the risk of losing all funding by the government. Title IX is no joke; the government means business and it will stop at nothing to ensure that all citizens of our country are given the same opportunity to excel athletically.

Works Cited

“Title IX and Race in Intercollegiate Sport.” [web page]. Women’s Sports Foundation. 2001; [Accessed 14 February 2005].
“Title IX Educational Amendments.” [web page]. Feminist Majority Foundation. 2001; [Accessed 14 February 2005].
“What Is Title IX?” [web page]. American. [Accessed 18 April 2005].

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