final paper for KateSpade85
April 19, 2005
Dr. Richard Barke
Political Science 1101
During the 1960’s and 1970’s, many activists fought diligently for gender equality in the educational environment, occupational opportunities, and legislative representation. As a result of the work done by these advocates of equality, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, more commonly referred to as Title IX, was passed. The bill was created in order to prevent sex discrimination against students, faculty, and staff members in any educational setting. The law states that all males and females must receive equal treatment and opportunity in admissions, educational programs, housing, facilities, scholarships, and athletics just to name a few. While Title IX was designed to promote equality in a wide variety of areas regarding education, it is generally associated with athletics by the public. An important goal of the bill is to achieve women’s equity in sports. While Title IX has made many advancements in the women’s sports arena, it has not attained optimum equality among genders in athletic funding and participation (Sadker, 2004). Title IX has been beneficial thus far in improving equality in women’s sports but needs to be continued and enhanced until females receive funding and representation equal to that of their male counterparts.
One common argument used in opposition to Title IX is that the bill is biased towards females. Of course, this claim is completely false. The Title IX bill was designed to promote a fair playing field for men and women in athletics. Under Title IX, educational institutions must adhere to one of the following: create proportional athletic opportunities for all athletes, expand opportunities for the gender in the minority, or provide equal opportunity for females to participate in their sports of interest. None of these requirements state that male athletic programs must be cut or reduced in funding; however, most opponents of Title IX make this accusation. This assumption is based on the fact that some universities choose to cut male athletic programs in order to meet regulations. Similarly, Title IX does not allow segregated classes except in special circumstances dealing with sex education classes and physical education classes in which extreme physical contact is required. This means that any male, if he chooses, can participate in any class or activity offered to women. Thus, women do not have an advantage over men by the Title IX bill. An extremely necessary issue addressed by Title IX involves sexual harassment and discrimination based on gender in any educational environment. This division of the bill protects both male and female students and faculty members (Sadker, 2004). The provisions set up by Title IX are by no means designed to promote reverse discrimination. The purpose of the bill is to set regulations so that equality can be achieved for males and females. It is fair to both sexes and does not give females an unfair advantage in education or athletics.
Because of Title IX, female admissions into colleges and universities has sky-rocketed. Not only has there been a substantial increase in females in undergraduate programs, but also increases in admissions of women to graduate and doctoral programs show tremendous expansions as well. Since 1971, women have advanced from making up only 6.9 percent to 50 percent of law school students (Mink, Title IX). Likewise, the number of female athletes in high schools and colleges has grown. Females accounted for less than 32,000 collegiate athletes in 1972. Today, that number has more than tripled. Similarly, it is estimated that 2.4 million girls participate in high school sports presently, a huge number compared the 300,000 girls that were included thirty years ago (Snowe, 1997). While representation of female athletes has improved, funding for their programs has not. Currently, women only receive 23 percent of college athletic budgets and 38 percent of athletics scholarship funds (“Achieving Success,” 1997). Those who oppose Title IX argue that less funding is received by women because women’s sports tend to generate less revenue for their universities than male sports. This claim is unfair, however, due the fact that many male sports are rooted in tradition and attract larger crowds resulting in larger profits. Most female sports are new and draw less attention than male sports. This is something that female athletes have little control over, and it should not affect the amounts of money they receive. While these numbers show improvements over the last thirty years in the opportunities for women in athletics and education, they also prove that there is still room for modifications to the bill so that women actually do receive equal funding and equal opportunity. Title IX must be augmented until women comprise 50 percent of college athletes and receive 50 percent of the funding for athletics.
Also regarding funding, female coaches still do not receive the same salaries that males in similar positions receive. With the increase of female athletes in schools, there must also be an increase in coaches. Many female coaches admit that at some point in their career, they are discouraged from furthering their coaching positions because of the low salaries they receive (Hammer, 2003). It is very necessary for female athletes to have female leaders and role models. For this reason, Title IX needs to be expanded to focus on equal opportunity among athletic leaders and coaches.
Title IX allows many females the opportunity to attain higher levels of education and participate in college athletics that were unavailable to their predecessors. Because of the bill, many women today are granted scholarships and funds that they would have been denied forty years ago. In the same light, the government now grants funds to colleges and universities so that females can have nicer and newer facilities equal to that of their male counterparts. As previously mentioned, female sports do not have as many excess funds as male sports tend to have because of the revenue they generate. Due to this in most cases, newer facilities for females could not be built without the help of Title IX.
Since the passage of the Title IX bill in 1972, females have had a greater opportunity than ever before to excel in higher education and athletics. It encourages more women to further their educations in colleges, universities, and graduate schools; comparably, it strives to promote gender equality in high school and college athletics. Because of Title IX, the statistics of women attaining higher levels of education and participating in sports has increased drastically over the past thirty years. The affects of the bill are evident in funding for new facilities, scholarships for athletes, and representation of female interests across the nation. It is undeniable that Title IX is beneficial to women. However, the purpose of Title IX was to create equality for males and females, and it cannot be proven that equality has been achieved. Women receive a third of the scholarships that men do, and similarly, female coaches are underpaid when their salaries are compared to their coworkers. In order for Title IX to be completely effective, males and females must receive equal funding, scholarships, representation, and opportunities across the board. Thus far, ample enhancements have been made for women because of the bill. However, advancements need to be continued until equality is achieved for all.
“Achieving Success Under Title IX.” June 1997. http://www.ed.gov/pubs/TitleIX/part5.html.
Hammer, Ben. “Reconsidering the Status of Title IX.” Black Issues in Higher Education. Vol. 20, Issue 4. April 2003.
Mink, Gwendolyn. “Title IX.” Readers Companion to US Women’s History. Houghton Mifflin. http://college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/women/html/wm_037300_titleix.htm.
Sadker, David. “What is Title IX?” American University. 2004. http://www.american.edu/sadker/bio.htm
Snowe, Olympia. “Fair Play Act.” Congressional Record. 1997. http://www.galileo.usg.edu/express?link=zomt.
Link to this Page