Title IX, a law known for its role in gender equality in athletics and preventing sexual harassment on campuses, is turning 50.
It was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on June 23, 1972, then ran through Congress, Rep. Patsy Mink, a Democrat from Hawaii, was the first woman of color elected to the US House.
The law forbids discrimination on the basis of sex in education, and remains an important part in the ongoing push for equality, including the LGBTQ community, regardless of its age.
What does Title IX say?
The statue itself is a sentence long.
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be denied participation under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, or shall not be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity Will go.”
Translation: The law is meant to ensure equality between men and women in education, and it is widespread, including most K-12 schools and colleges and universities, as well as vocational schools, libraries, and museums. This means it applies to millions of students as well as teachers.
What is included in Title IX?
The law applies to many areas of education: athletics, the classroom, sexual assault and violence on campus, financial aid with employment, discrimination, admission, retaliation and even tuition.
It has also been extended to other forms of gender and gender discrimination; Title IX was enacted when the Obama administration advised that transgender people should be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice in schools.
How does Title IX affect athletics?
In many ways, and at the K-12 and powerful collegiate levels. Women’s and men’s teams should be treated equally under the law, and schools should expand opportunities for women to play sports.
This does not mean that every sport will have exactly the same budget for equipment, facilities, travel or food. For example, the women’s tennis team may have more money geared toward racquets than the men’s tennis team. The athletic department is known to be “similar in effect”, meaning that the advantage for a men’s or women’s team in one area can be offset in another area as long as “the overall effect of any differences is negligible.” “
In hopes of ensuring compliance with Title IX, each athletic department in a college or university must provide annual equity in athletics data analysis reports. These track participation, coaching staff and salaries, revenue and expenses, which include recruiting and game-day expenses.
Many Title IX athletics disputes are known as the participation gap. Athletic departments must ensure that the ratio of men’s athletic participation opportunities to women’s participation opportunities is “substantially proportional” to the school’s undergraduate enrollment.
For example, the University of Connecticut settled a lawsuit after winning a temporary restraining order against being laid off by its women’s rowing team. UConn was alleged to have inflated the women’s roster number (about 20 more than the competition) on its equity report, implying that the actual participation gap was “far above the size of a viable team.”
How does Title IX affect allegations of sexual assault?
Title IX protections extend to sexual assault on campus, which includes dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.
The bottom line is that all students should have a learning environment free from sexual harassment. When violations occur, the law is meant to help students solve the problem, which could mean moving to a different dorm, for example, or removing an alleged assailant from school altogether.
Under new Title IX rules finalized in 2020, students who come forward with allegations of misconduct can now face in-person hearing and cross-examination by the person chosen by the alleged attacker. These rules have been criticized by Democrats and others for not fully protecting victims and discouraging complaints, and the Biden administration is expected to propose new rules soon.
The Associated Press reported that some universities saw a decrease in the number of complaints brought to Title IX offices.
What about discrimination?
Under Title IX, discrimination has a broader definition that may include students, faculty, administrators, or employees. It also includes discrimination against pregnant people. The law has also been enacted to eliminate discrimination against LGBTQ students and teachers.
Nothing in Title IX or its federal regulations explicitly protects LGBTQ people, but the Biden administration said last year that the law should be interpreted to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This was based on a 2020 Supreme Court ruling that LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination in employment.
As a result, the Department of Education said it could launch a civil rights investigation if students are barred from using the bathroom or joining sports teams that match their gender identity.
Tennessee and several other Republican-led states filed a federal lawsuit challenging that guidance; It is yet to be decided.
The Biden administration has indicated that its upcoming regulation will explicitly expand Title IX to protect LGBTQ students from discrimination. If finalized as a federal regulation, it will take the force of law.
Who Oversees Title IX in Schools?
Every school and college must have at least one Title IX coordinator, whose job it is to ensure that the institution is compliant with all of the Title IX components. Sometimes the official is simply the school’s principal, while many universities have entire offices dedicated to Title IX compliance.
What type of complaints can be filed?
There are two types: local and federal.
Local complaints run through the school’s Title IX coordinator or office, which has procedures in place for handling cases involving sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence. Schools can create discipline for these complaints.
Federal complaints go to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. These investigations can take months or even years to complete. A list of current federal Title IX investigations can be found on the OCR website.
People who believe their rights have been violated can also bring their cases to federal courts through Title IX lawsuits.
For more on the impact of Title IX, read the AP’s full report:
The Associated Press education team receives support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. AP is solely responsible for all content.