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Final Draft on Title IX

Equal Rights Through Title IX



Title IX is part of the Education Amendments of the 1972 constitutional amendment made to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title IX outlines laws for equal opportunities to be presented to males and females in federally funded school sports and other activities. All federally funded schools: elementary, secondary, colleges, and universities; are covered by Title IX. By law, each school must designate a title IX coordinator to ensure the availability, quality, benefits, opportunities, and treatment are all equal between genders. Title IX does not only apply to recreational activities, it prohibits discrimination in any educational program or activity. Therefore, all activities conducted under the schools name must have equivalent funding and participation offered for both males and females. This allows Title IX to legislate over a much broader range of people and groups. (Curtis 2004, USDE 1997)

Title IX covers three aspects in sports and activities: participation, scholarships, and components of athletic programs. Schools must provide athletic opportunities for men and women in proportion to their enrollment in the student body. The only exception to this is if a school has already fully met the interests and abilities of both men and women athletes. Equal number of teams for men and women do not have to exist, only proportional participation. Scholarships must be provided proportional to gender participation as well. Institutions must also provide equal benefits to male and females, such as uniforms, facilities, equipment and supplies. Although Title IX is a written law, many institutions fail to comply, therefore, creating an imbalance between male and female athletics. In 1975, President Ford created a law that stated if an institution is caught failing to meet the specified requirements they will be given three years to improve to the standards of Title IX. In 1980, the Department of Education was established and given the job of enforcing Title IX’s regulations. (USDE 1997)

Title IX has had a profound impact on high school and college athletics and continuing its implementation is crucial, however, there needs to be strict punishment for those who do not follow the guidelines. Many people, both males and females, although predominately females, are suffering because institutions are not being held accountable for Title IX. It is important to enforce this law, because if it is not enforced, people could lose valuable opportunities and benefits. Many argue that since the creation of Title IX, many male sports teams have suffered. However, without Title IX, both male and female teams would be suffering or maybe even nonexistent today. Many talents would not be as well developed and acted on as they are today without the creation of Title IX. Men and women’s participation in collegiate sports increased in NCAA member colleges between 2000 and 2001. This shows that Title IX benefits both men and women. It is important that these laws remain in our constitution and continue to be enforced. The more support it has, the more effective it will be. (USDE 1997, NPR 1999)

In 1997, here at the Georgia Institute of Technology, there was 27% female enrollment in the school, and they made up 28% of the student athletes on campus. Georgia Tech was one of the only institutions that had a greater proportion of female athletes than female students. However, Georgia Tech is currently facing its own battle over Title IX. Previously, the women's volleyball team has had to use locker room facilities in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. These facilities are not in the same building in which the team competes, and many people believe this violates Title IX. However, the school's plan for building locker rooms in the same gym requires the removal of the Barbell club, Georgia Tech's largest student organization. At first, the Athletic Association decided to completely evict Barbell in favor of the new locker rooms, but some discrepancy has arisen over whether such measures are truly necessary. In fact, other teams such as softball face the same problem. Though important and generally effective, this situation is an example of Title IX's limitations. It is sometimes unclear which actions best promote the equality that Title IX strives to create. (Coffee 1997)

Women and men deserve equal opportunity. It is important to remember that opportunity drives interest. Without the opportunity readily available to everyone, some may stop short of their dreams and aspirations; this is one of the reasons this law is so important. Presentation of equal opportunity would allow for men and women to feel they could excel equally in the same field, and gain the same benefit from doing so. Title IX does not discriminate between men and women. Many people will argue that women benefit from Title IX and that men do not; however, it is just a matter of more cases are brought up regarding women than men. (USDE 1997, NWLC 2000)

Sources:

Coffee, Hoyt. Georgia Institute of Technology Alumni Association. 1997. “Fair Play.” [accessed 15 April 2005] http://gtalumni.org/Publications/techtopics/fall97/fair.html

Curtis, Mary Dr. and Grant, Christine Dr. 2004. "Gender Equity in Sports." [accessed 24 January 2005] http://bailiwick.lib.uiowa.edu/ge/

National Women's Law Center, 2000. "Athletics." [accessed 24 January 2005]http://www.nwlc.org/display.cfm?section=athletics (cited as NWLC)

National Public Radio, March 3, 1999. "Title 9 and College Sports." [accessed 24 January 2005] http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1046338 (cited as NPR)

US Department of Education. June 1997. “Title IX: 25 Years of Progress." [accessed 24 January 2005] http://www.ed.gov/pubs/TitleIX/index.html (cited as USDE)

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