Female Discrimination in Intercollegiate Sports

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Female Discrimination in Intercollegiate Sports Through the history of human kind, there are evidences that females were excluded from almost everything, including sports. For example, in Greece there are evidences in the form of paintings and sculpture indicating that only males were allowed to participate in sports. Females were absent from these pictures because they were “unable” to play sports. Females were considered too fragile to play, too weak to stand up to the challenge; their definition of female was a “home wife.” They could not imagine female wrestling, fighting or participating in other sports because of their ideas of “women” as weak. This “image” of female as not being able to play sports was held through centuries until the twentieth century when the “Revolution” began to bring equality to females. Moreover, this “image” had bad effects on females’ lives, especially on female athletes, who were not wanted in sports because sports were only for males. Because females were not wanted, colleges and universities tried not to take female athletes and did not give female athletic scholarships. It resulted in decline of participation of females in sports. Females finally had enough of being treated as less than males and receiving smaller funds for athletic scholarships. Around the 1950’s, females started to protest against this unequal treatment in education, sports, and scholarship programs. They had to fight hard to receive any attention at all. In 1972, they were finally heard. Congress had enacted a new law, adding to the Educational Amendment Act, called Title IX. “Title IX of the Educational Amendment Act of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational programs receiving federal financial assistance” (Kovacs 36). It states: No person in the United States Shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. (Title IX and Sex Discrimination) “Athletic are considered an integral part of an institution’s education program and are therefore covered by this law” (Equal Opportunities in Intercollegiate Athletics). Colleges and universities are required to provide opportunities for scholarships to both sexes. Those scholarships must be distributed proportionally to the rate of each sex. This does not mean that the number or amount of the scholarships has to be equal. However, the total amount must be substantially proportionate to the participation rates in athletic programs.

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