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Title IX: Gender Inequality

Title IX: Gender Inequality

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was a possible solution to amend the war on gender discrimination. With the amendment in place, Title IX enforced that all males and females receive equal opportunities within the educational system. The amendment clearly 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.” Title IX, at the time, provided a viable resolution in producing gender equality throughout the educational institutions; the amendment covered a broad range of issues including athletics programs, health, and admissions. Title IX has now become a source of controversy and is strongly being misinterpreted as a law of proportionality, and this law is a threat to the male gender.
Women’s discrimination in sports can be subdivided into two factors: money and respect. According to Dr. Ward, “Women weren’t allowed to participate [in marathons and other events during Ancient Greece]. It wasn’t considered seemly for young ladies to sweat” (“And the winner is”). The thought of women participating in sports was irrational; sports and sweat were characterized to be un-lady like (“And the winner is”). It is a fact that women athletes are paid less, even if the girl is equally athletic compared to the guy. Women sports were considered being of lesser value until the 1970’s when Billie Jean King, “single-handedly brought the F-word to women’s tennis” (O’Hara). King “radicalized” the sport and made changes to values that women, at that time, were given (O’Hara). King thought that money would be able to handle the problem, but men and women were still not getting paid equal; men were still making eight times as much (O’Hara).
With that in mind, not only were professional women’s sports facing discrimination, female teams in school were a rare occurrence. With regards to this issue, Congress passed Title IX in 1972 as an Education Amendment; the purpose of this Title is to ensure gender equality in school sports. Title IX has helped and influenced the growth in women’s sports starting from the 1970’s. Title IX states that “no person 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 aid” (Arens). Title IX was the federal government’s way to resolve gender discrimination.
Women and their abilities in athletics have been discriminated against throughout the years, but according to researchers there is a possibility for the top female athletes to catch up, or even outrun the top males (“And the winner is”). Dr. Susan Ward and Brian Whipp, both from the University of California Los Angeles, made a statistic of “average running speeds” for “record holders in certain track events since the early 1900’s,” and the results shows a “increase in running speeds” (“And the winner is”). The averages in running speed and race times improved throughout the year, and this information has guided professionals to conclude that women will someday be able to surpass men (“And the winner is”). Not only are women predicted to outrun men; a woman has “dunked” a basketball. The Portland Power forward, Sylvia Crawley, made a blindfolded slam dunk during the American Basketball League All-Star Game (Bandrapalli). The “slam dunk” was used to define the “masculine” beauty of basketball.
In 1998 the slam-dunk contest has been replaced by the two-ball contest, where male NBA players and female WNBA players are put into groups. The pairs or teams take shots from six different locations on the court for 60 seconds. Separate the males from the females and tally up the amount of baskets made, “the women out shot the men” (Bandrapalli).
As women gain respect in professional sports, Title IX is a solution to gender equality in school, but is this law really fair to the males? As a result of Title IX, men’s team is being cut dramatically (“Title IX and fear of feminists”). The elimination of men’s teams began in the 1990’s. University of California Los Angeles has “dropped” the men’s swimming squad, in 1993 as a respond to Title IX, and to make room for women teams (Arens). The swimming squad was only one of 16 NCAA male swimming teams to be cut; these teams are part of the 200 men’s teams being wiped out because of Title IX. According to NCAA, the loss “amounts to a net loss of more than 17,000 opportunities for men in collegiate athletics” (Arens). While increasing opportunities for females, Title IX decreases the number of opportunities available for men.
Title IX was originally a law to prevent discrimination, but now it’s viewed as a law of proportionality. It’s the ratio of athletes be equal to the ratio of the student body (Arens). For example, if the ratio of men and women in the student body is 2 to 3, then the ratio of male, female athletes should be 2 to 3 also. In 1992, women athletes sued Brown University, hoping to reestablish the women’s team; the team was originally cut for money issues, not gender discrimination. As a way to defend against the problem, Brown University states that women’s interest in sports has steadily declined. The statement was supported by a survey in 1992 by the National Federation of State High school Association; the survey showed that 3.5 million males and, only, two million females participated in high school varsity teams. Also for support were answers to College Board “questionnaires” (Arens). The answers from students who sent their SAT scores to Brown University suggested that 50 percent males, but 30 percent females showed interest in sports. However, Judge Raymond Pettine ruled, “that as long as the proportion of women athletes was lower than the proportion of women students, Brown could not eliminate viable women’s teams” (Arens). So, as a result, the only way to end the proportionality problem is to limit the number of players able to participate on a men’s team (Arens).
Dr. Susan Ward and Brian Whipp, researchers from UCLA, stated that women’s running speeds are steadily increasing (“And the winner is”). During the seventies, women broke world records 79 times and men only 18 times. In the eighties, women set an average of 47 records and men only 23 (Sailer). Dr. Peter Snell from the University of Texas says that the male runners have larger muscles and are able to “deliver oxygen” faster, and these circumstances gives men the advantage (“And the winner is”). What Ward and Whipp failed to conclude is that the gender gap is closing. In the nineties, women only set 5 records, and men had 30; it is appropriate to say, “men are ahead of women 30 to 1” (Sailer). With women athletics on the rise, and an increase in statistics, there is a big possibility (“And the winner is”).
With that in mind, the most important question of all is will gender discrimination in sports ever end. Title IX is now being misinterpreted as a law of “proportionality”; proportionality is more of harm to males than is it benefiting females. In other words, Title IX ends women’s discrimination, but results in a male injustice. Title IX clearly states that it is here to resolve inequality, but it is now used as a tool to gain an “unfair” advantage for women; Title IX was developed to give women an equal opportunity in sports, but it’s now limiting the opportunities that were once available for male athletes (Arens). There have been many lawsuits concerning the issue of Title IX and gender inequality, but none was successful. Title IX should be kept for women’s equality and fairness. Only as long as the original intent of Title IX is not distorted, will there be equal opportunities for both men and women in athletics.
As a result, the gender war in sports is a debatable subject. Some see it as a war of equality, others see it as a war of proportionality, or maybe it’s just a group of women trying to disprove the old saying “that women can’t do what men can” (Bandrapalli).


Works Cited
“And the winner is…will women someday outrun men?” Current Science 8 May 1992.
SIRS Discover. Broward Library System. 4 November 2003 .
Arens, Elizabeth. “Title IX is unfair to men’s sports.” The Gender Refs December 1997.
Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center: Sports and Athletes. Broward Library System. 4 November 2003 .
Bandrapalli, Suman. “Can Slam Dunk Find Spot in Women’s Game?” Christian Science
Monitor 24 February 1998. SIRS Discover. Broward Library System. 4 November 2003 .
O’Hara, Jane. “Better? Yes. Equal? Not by a long shot.” MacLean’s April 1997.
Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center: Sports and Athletes. Broward Library System. 4 November 2003 .
Roberts, Selena. “Why do Girls need Sports?” Orlando Sentinel 1 August 1993. SIRS
Discover. Broward Library System. 3 November 2003 .
Sailer, Steve and Stephen Seiler. “Women Are Not as Athletically Gifted as Men.” Track
and Battlefield 31 December 1997. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center: Sports and Athletes. Broward Library System. 4 November 2003 .
“Title IX and Fear of Feminists.” PR Newswire 15 July 2003. Info Trac One File.
Broward Library System. 4 November 2003 http://web7.infotrac.galegroup.com/itw/infomark/827/483/415726w5/purl



Bibliography
“And the winner is…will women someday outrun men?” Current Science 8 May 1992.
SIRS Discover. Broward Library System. 4 November 2003 .
Arens, Elizabeth. “Title IX is unfair to men’s sports.” The Gender Refs December 1997.
Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center: Sports and Athletes. Broward Library System. 4 November 2003 .
Bandrapalli, Suman. “Can Slam Dunk Find Spot in Women’s Game?” Christian Science
Monitor 24 February 1998. SIRS Discover. Broward Library System. 4 November 2003 .
O’Hara, Jane. “Better? Yes. Equal? Not by a long shot.” MacLean’s April 1997.
Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center: Sports and Athletes. Broward Library System. 4 November 2003 .
Roberts, Selena. “Why do Girls need Sports?” Orlando Sentinel 1 August 1993. SIRS
Discover. Broward Library System. 3 November 2003 .
Sailer, Steve and Stephen Seiler. “Women Are Not as Athletically Gifted as Men.” Track
and Battlefield 31 December 1997. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center: Sports and Athletes. Broward Library System. 4 November 2003 .
“Title IX and Fear of Feminists.” PR Newswire 15 July 2003. Info Trac One File.
Broward Library System. 4 November 2003 .
“Women’s Activism through U.S. History.” Christian Science Monitor 11 May 2000.
SIRS Discover. Broward Library System. 4 November 2003 .

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