Title IX has had a beneficial effect on high school and college athletics, and should be continued because of its positive moral values that are put into practice on young women. Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. Since signed in 1972, Title IX has had a very positive influence on women in school related sports. It was passed by the federal government to prevent gender discrimination in educational institutions in both high school and college sports. Title IX governs the overall equality of treatment and opportunity in both men’s and women’s athletics while giving schools the flexibility to choose sports based on student body interest, geographic influence, budget restraints, and gender ratio. In other words, it is not an issue of women being able to participate in a certain sport or that exactly the same amount of money is spent on a sport that men and women both share. Instead, the focus is on the necessity for women to have equal opportunities as men on a whole, not on an individual basis.
The requirements of Title IX are measured by three major categories. First, financial assistance must be awarded based on the number of male and female athletes. The total amounts of athletic aid must be proportionate to the ratio of male and female athletes.
Second, the selection of sports and the level of competition must be adequate to the students' interests and abilities. There are three factors that are looked at. One factor would be that the levels of participation opportunities for male and female students are provided in numbers fair to their enrollments. Then whether males or females have been and or are underrepresented among intercollegiate athletics, whether the institution can show a history and continuing practice of program expansion which is responsible to the developing interests and abilities of the athletes. Lastly, whether the members of one sex are underrepresented among intercollegiate athletics and the institution cannot show a continuing practice of program expansion, whether it can be demonstrated that the interests and abilities of the student athletes have been fully and effectively accommodated by the present program.
Third, all other benefits, opportunities, and treatments that sports participants are to be as equal as possible. Title IX looks at certain programs such as components including quality of equipment, equal amount of games and practice opportunities, means of travel which also includes daily allowance, availability of academic tutoring, opportunity to receive equal compensation, all types of locker room equality, medical and housing facilities, publicity, support services and lastly recruitment.
Title IX requires schools receiving federal funds to give women and girls an equal chance to play sports. Because almost all schools receive federal funds, Title IX applies to nearly everyone. The Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education is in charge of enforcing the civil rights and regulations in education, extending protection to millions of elementary and secondary school students, college and university students, as well as thousands of school districts, colleges and universities, and proprietary schools.
As the women's civil rights movement gained momentum in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Americans began to focus attention on apparent issues that slowed the progress of women’s rights in education. The issue of sex bias in education moved into the public policy area. “Before Title IX, only one in 27 girls played varsity high school sports. Today that figure is one in 2.5, for a total of 2.8 million girls now playing high school sports. In comparison, 32,000 women athletes played on intercollegiate teams prior to Title IX, compared with 150,000 today. Athletic scholarships for women were virtually non-existent prior to Title IX, but in 1997, there were more than 10,000 scholarships for women athletes.”(Save Title IX) In the past, many high schools and colleges only had sports for men. Sports like baseball, basketball, and soccer were all dominated by men and coached by men. Since the passing of Title IX women have equal opportunity in the same sports. Many colleges and most high schools have softball, basketball as well as soccer for women. With the growth of Title IX doorways have opened for women who not only dreamed of teaching but also those who wished to coach the sports they love.
While women's participation in athletics has grown steadily over the past 30 years, women athletes continue to get fewer teams, fewer scholarships and lower budgets than their male counterparts. Some might not believe that equality in sports is such a large issue. But when sports are foundations of young peoples lives in no way is it acceptable to discriminate because of ones gender. It is not acceptable to claim that one gender is superior to another no matter what the situation. When women are not treated equally in sports, they lose the opportunity to receive the many psychological and physical benefits from being physically active. By providing that important base of equality early in age women can see that they have equal opportunities in the job field. “The statistics regarding women and education has increased significantly since 1972:
1994, 63% of female high school graduates aged 16-24 were enrolled in college, compared to 43% in 1973. In 1994, 27% of women earned a bachelor's degree, compared to 18% in 1971. In 1994, women received 38% of medical degrees, compared with 9% in 1972. In 1994, women earned 43% of law degrees, compared with 7% in 1972. In 1994, 44% of all doctoral degrees to U.S. citizens went to women, up from 25% in 1977. In recent years the number of females taking high school algebra, geometry, and calculus is now similar to the number of males taking the same courses. Today more than 100,000 women participate in intercollegiate sports, up from 25,000 in 1971. In 1995, women made up 37% of athletics, compared to 15% in 1972. In 1996, girls constituted 39% of high school athletes, compared to 7.5% in 1971.” (Nikki Katz)
Today, that education gap no longer exists. Women now make up the majority of students in America's colleges and universities in addition to making up the majority of those receiving master's degrees. Women are also entering business and law schools, when in the past it was unheard of. The barrier that separated men and women in some of the largest aspects of life such as jobs and athletics has come down. Women rights continue to grow on a level never seen before. Women’s rights have reached levels that were never thought to be reachable before.
There are many positive effects Title IX has had on our nation. But there still is not a perfect balance between men and women in all areas of sports. “For every $1 spent on women's athletics, $3 is spent on men's programs.”(Save Title IX)This is a fact that will take time to diminish, but as long as there are people doing all they can to strive towards equality there’s always hope. In conclusion, it is evident of the good that has come of Title IX, we have not yet reached equality amongst genders but Title IX has created stepping stones that are leading us down that right path.
1. “Save Title IX” National Organization For Women. http://www.now.org/issues/title_ix/
2. Nikki Katz. “Title IX-What You Need To Know About Title IX” http://womensissues.about.com/cs/discriminatio2/a/titleix.htm
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- bwolves11 last edited on 19 April 2005 at 10:40 pm by bwolves11