Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 is the landmark legislation that bans sex discrimination in schools, whether it is in academics or athletics. Title IX states:
"No person in the U.S. 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."
Athletics has created the most controversy regarding Title IX, but its gains in education and academics are notable. Before Title IX, many schools refused to admit women or enforced strict limits. Some statistics highlighting the advancements follow:
• 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.
Title IX governs the overall equity of treatment and opportunity in 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 a matter of women being able to participate in wrestling or that exactly the same amount of money spent per women's and men's basketball player. Instead, the focus is on the necessity for women to have equal opportunities as men on a whole, not on an individual basis.
Concerning intercollegiate athletics, there are three primary areas that determine if an institution is in compliance:
1. athletic financial assistance
2. accommodation of athletic interests & abilities
3. other program areas
Appraisal of compliance is on a program-wide basis, n...
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...d numbers. Indeed, the United States stands alone and is a world leader in opening the doors of higher education to women.
Even today, we acknowledge the many advances women have made in academics, employment and athletics, we still need to recognize some dismaying facts in our efforts to achieve equity. While sex discrimination is no longer routinely accepted in education and has been prohibited since Title IX became law, the incidences of sexual harassment and assault that are continually reported show that freedom from threats to learning still has not been achieved. In response, the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education has released its final policy guidance on sexual harassment to help educators recognize sexual harassment and formulate age-appropriate responses to prevent or resolve incidences of this form of sex discrimination.
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