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Title IX has Room for Improvement



Title IX has Room for Improvement

Title IX has become beneficial for the advancement of women's rights and equal opportunities, though the act needs more revision due to proof of women still having inequality in some areas addressed in Title IX. The objective of Title IX is to avoid the use of federal money to support education programs that incorporate sexual disrimination. Some examples of what Title IX includes is sexual harassment, college and university admissions, scholarship programs, employment disrimination, sports programs, etc. It came about because during the 1960s and 1970s, disrimination in schools was becoming a major public policy concern. The workforce was hiring more women than ever before, yet they still earned less money than men did for the same amount and type of work. As a result of this increasing concern among women and others, some lawsuits against colleges, universities and the federal government sprouted up. A year before Title IX was approved, Senator Bayh brought up an excellent point:

The field of education is just one of many areas where differential treatment [between men and women] has been documented but because education provides access to jobs and financial security, discrimination here is doubly destructive for women. Therefore, a strong and comprehensive measure is needed to provide women with solid legal protection from the persistent, pernicious discrimination which is serving to perpetuate second-class citizenship for American women. (US Department of Justice 2001)

This issue of differential treatment of men and women in education became more noticeable in the public eye, so the governement needed to act upon the demand. Once Title IX was passed, the following are some of the general topics that it covered for womens equality: employment discrimination, federal housing, comparagle facilities, financial assistance, health and insurance benefits and services, marital or parental status, athletics, textbooks and curricular material and sexual harassment. (Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, 1993)
It was appropriate for the times of today and before for this issue, addressed in Title IX, to be handled. With the trends of American government going towards equality, it seems only fair that women hop on this train as well. Sexual discrimination is not fair, nor equal. Women are born the same as men, and thus should be treated as equal human beings. Women get payed less for the same job as men, women earn 75.5 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is nearly 25%! (Burke) There is encouragement that Title IX has been effective in recent years, because for every dollar a man earns to the cents a woman earns has been on the increase for years now. On the other hand though, most recently in 2002 there was a decline in the ratio of what a man earns to what a woman earns, which is discouraging. Title IX should be re-evaluated since many years have passed since its debut into law, so that it could be revised to promote better equality of women and men.
Title IX concludes that interscholastic, intercollegiate, club or intramural althletics must provide equal opportunity for both sexes to participate in the sport or to provide separate teams (based on competitive skill or activity that is a contact sport) of equal funding. Contact sports are the exception here, so this leaves some ambiguity in interpretation. This is inappropriate, because many women are discouraged from contact sports. I believe this is because of society having a general feeling that women are too fragile. Title IX could change this. If a woman wants to play football, then there should not be a social or financial standard that prohibits her. There is not sufficient evidence that would confirm that a woman is not physically able to play contact sports. Research concludes that sports participation can reduce girls’ risk of diseases in adulthood. More research might even uncover that it is beneficial for reproductive health for women to exercise. Another interesting fact is that female athletes tend to do better academically than females who are not physically involved. (Brady 1998, 80)
On the other hand, some colleges and universities felt Title IX was unfair in certain respects. When Title IX was first founded, they felt the funding for women’s sports would promote discrimination through the financial burdens that their sports programs would take. Also, these institutions pointed out that the new sports would require money that would strain their budget. I find that these reasons are just scapegoats for the organizations, so that they don’t have to abide by the law and its purposes. There should be no burden on the budget if the budget was split evenly. The male sports would have to cut back, but that does not mean they are being discriminated against. It merely means that they have to find more funding through private means, just as the women would or could do.
It is interesting that most everyone agrees that there should be no racial discrimination, though I do not find the same support for sexual discrimination. I find it hard to believe that there is much difference in the two. In some respects, American men do not view women as capable counterparts in some professional sectors. Some people may not realize that they support the economy and business up just as much as the men do. For example, it took until 1920 and the 19th amendment for women to be able to even vote. Almost all the rest of America could vote before women could. This is proof that in the past and present, women were and are not seen as an important or crucial part of society, except for childbearing. I feel as though more awareness needs to be given to America in general, especially those who are in charge of businesses that women are employed in. During the time when children and teenagers are young, Title IX could promote sexual equality through education in classes such as business, ethics, health, and many more.
One part of Title IX that has given some of America something to boast and push about is the equality of education, in some respects. For example, I feel it is inapproprate for colleges to have a certain percentage of races or genders that they must allow in for admissions. I feel that schools should not even consider gender or race in their decision; it should be removed from sight or even the application. Admissions to colleges, or similar institutions, should be based solely on academics and activities. I do not feel it is appropriate to allow certain students in who may not be as smart, just because they are male, female, black, white, Spanish, Asian, etc. It would be fairer for colleges to admit those who are the best academically qualified, since that is what college is for – academics. College is not a place where making gender quota should be necessary. Federal funding could offer funding only to those institutions who removed gender from the application for admission purposes through Title IX.
Overall, Title IX has been quite beneficial and will continue to bring equality for women and other similar groups, though it can still be improved. There are very few aspects of life that are perfect the first time and I can safely say that people do not create perfect products on their first try, therefore Title IX should be revised to accommodate recent facts and data to improve the standards of sexual equality.

Works Cited

Brady, Martha. 1998. “Laying the Foundation for Girls’ Healthy Futures: Can Sports Play a Role?” Studies in Family Planning: 79-82.

Burke, Martha. “ADJUSTING WOMEN'S SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS” [web page] http://www.womensorganizations.org/pages.cfm?ID=136 [Accessed 23 Mar 2005].

The Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc. and The NETWORK, Inc. “Beyond Title IX: Gender Equity Issues in Schools” [web page] Sep 1993; http://www.maec.org/beyond.html [Accessed 23 Mar 2005].

US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. “Title IX Legal Manual” [web page] Jan 2001; http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/cor/coord/ixlegal.htm [Accessed 22 Mar 2005]

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