position on title ix by fishie393
Pol Sci 1101
April 17, 2005
Equality in Athletics and Academics
Title IX is a positive program that has helped students succeed nationwide. It states that “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). Not only have we seen an increase in sports participation with young women, but also academic equality has risen to higher standards. Young men and women across the country are receiving more equal attention in the classroom and on the playing field as a result of Title IX. With Title IX, money is available for everyone to enjoy the various aspects of grade school and college academics and athletics. The balance between academics and athletics remains important for individuality. Standards of young people in our society have also improved because of Title IX. Drop-out rates have seen significant decreases and the percentage of students, especially females, continuing with higher education has increased dramatically.
Although Title IX is associated with several different aspects of equality, one prevalent issue that remains is the difference in participation and availability for women in athletics. One year before Title IX was enacted (1971), a mere 300,000 women participated in high school athletics. Now, 30 years later, approximately 2.4 million women participate in sports at the high school level. Having so many more young women participating in athletics obviously requires more funding than was previously allocated.
However, because Title IX requires equal funding for male and female athletics, many male students have complained that money is being taken away from their programs and given to the girls’ program. However true this may be, the statistics show that Title IX is beneficial to both men and women and should be continued. For example, high school girls who have been involved in sports have been proven less likely to become pregnant, drink alcohol, use tobacco or try drugs because of their athletic involvement. Offering athletic programs to young girls provides them with many lessons they may not be able to learn in other situations. Understanding how to work effectively in a group, being held accountable, and holding responsibilities to a team are life lessons that are very difficult to obtain anywhere else. How can anyone not see the benefits to such programs? Because these women have been given the opportunity to participate in sports at a much more competitive and serious level, studies have seen increased self-confidence and decreased depression in young women. (Title IX: 25 Years of Progress, online)
On top of that, women are gaining far more respect in the professional world because they have values learned from sports participation. Values learned include “teamwork, standards, leadership, discipline, self-sacrifice and pride in accomplishment” (Title IX: 25 Years of Progress, online). These are all respectable accomplishments for women and when applying for a job, many bosses inquire about sports and the effects it had on their lives. They ask about leadership experiences, confrontations, and the ways all of these instances were handled. The experiences that athletic teams provide assist in the growth of an individual, whether male or female. The benefits are not just for women, and it simply seems that way because of recent discoveries and additions. Through athletics, especially for women, there are many avenues that open up and many dreams that become realities.
While Title IX does pertain to high school athletics and the equality of men and women, the ruling also affects academics. Since Title IX went into effect, there have been vast improvements in the academic success of both men and women. First of all, the high school drop-out rate has lowered significantly, especially when referring to teenage mothers. The law now prohibits schools from expelling or punishing young girls due to their motherhood status. On top of keeping students in school, the school systems have also achieved great success in main level and even upper level math and science programs. Both genders have increased the likelihood of taking higher level math classes in high school and college math majors have seen a significant increase in female applicants. Teachers and parents are encouraging students to perform better academically and standards are constantly rising. For many students, it has been difficult to keep up but the extra work and dedication ultimately pays off.
Additionally, for the first time in our country’s history, women are graduating from college at the same rate as men: in 1974 only 18% of all young women earned a bachelor’s degree compared to 26% of all young men. By 1994, the numbers were at an even 27% each and women are estimated to be gaining 55% of all bachelor’s degrees by 2006. Women as medics, lawyers, and dentists all have witnessed huge jumps in numbers. As a matter of fact, those women who choose to work in nontraditional fields are expected to earn 150% more than those women working in traditionally women’s fields. Although all of these facts cannot directly be attributed to Title IX, they are indirectly related in some way or another. Whether it is a female earning the opportunity to attend law school or a young man being given an academic scholarship to college, without Title IX, those dreams would have been much more difficult to achieve for both students.
All of these discoveries can not be related to simply athletic or academic benefits. Rather, they can be credited to Title IX as a whole. It is a wonderful program, and anyone can see that. Men and women receive equal treatment which is something women have been rallying to achieve for ages. Additionally, men cannot complain that anything has been taken away from them; there is just more valuable competition. “Title IX 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. However, Title IX is not intended to be a zero-sum game. Title IX is intended to ensure equality for both males and females” (What Is Title IX? Online). Overall, both male and female students are being forced to work harder for whatever it is they desire to achieve. There is no intended punishment for men, and although it may seem that way, the law does not require that men lose privileges due to their rulings.
Although it has become apparent that women were far more affected by Title IX than men were, this was not the original intention of the proposal. Some claim that the “extra” benefits that women receive are unfair and men deserve to benefit also, but that defeats the purpose of the rule. The intent was to bring equality to athletics and academics in government-supported institutions. This is exactly what has been done, and although women appear to have benefited more, what does that say about where they stood prior to this law being passed? Men can complain all they want that money is being taken away from them, but realistically, it is not. The money is simply being reapportioned in order to allow equal percentages of the money to go to the respective percentages of men versus women, especially in athletics. Basically, one sex does not deserve to be better off than another, nor do they deserve more chances and opportunities to succeed.
Title IX should clearly be continued based on the positive affects it has had on society in general. As previously stated, we have noted improvements in so many different areas of life. Eliminating Title IX would ensure negative benefits on society and the lives of so many young people. Instead, continuing to improve Title IX and adding new ideas and opportunities to the bill can only continue to enhance our culture and its future.
Sadker, David. “What Is Title IX?” [web page] 2001. http://www.american.edu/sadker/
index.html [Accessed 17 April 2005].
“Title IX: 25 Years of Success.” [web page] US Department of Education Online. 1997. . [Accessed 17 April 2005].
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