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What is Title IX? An impactful law that’s often misunderstood

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Title IX, the 37-word statute that fueled years of women’s sports boom, turns 50 on Thursday.

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Yet roughly 87% of American adults say they have heard little or nothing about the turning point in civil rights law. Pew Research Center survey. BUT similar Ipsos survey found that 71% of children aged 12-17 did not know anything about Title IX.

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In the run-up to his 50th birthday, experts and advocates for gender equality have sought to educate the public about his power. Here’s what you need to know about the law, its impact, its application in sports, its shortcomings, and more.

What is Title IX?

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Title IX is a federal law that was enacted as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. It states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation, denied benefits, or discriminated against in any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Is Title IX a sports law?

Title IX is partly responsible for greater participation of girls and women in sports because almost all high schools and colleges receive federal funding and sports are considered an educational program. But Title IX aims to protect all people, regardless of gender, from various forms of prejudice and abuse. The areas of protection of Title IX include:

  • Reception

  • Recruitment

  • Financial aid

  • Academic programs

  • Frame

  • Employment

  • Comparable objects

  • Consulting

  • Medical and insurance benefits and services

  • Marital or parental status

  • Athletics

  • Textbooks and teaching materials

  • Sexual harassment and sexual assault

How does Section IX apply to sport?

Title IX requires almost all colleges and high schools to ensure equal treatment of athletes in three broad categories:

  • Participation Opportunities

  • Scholarships

  • Other benefits

These “other perks” are sometimes referred to as the “laundry list” and include:

  • Equipment and consumables

  • Games and training times

  • Travel

  • per diem

  • coaching

  • Academic training

  • Appointment and remuneration of trainers and tutors

  • lockers

  • Premises for training and competition

  • Medical and educational institutions

  • Housing and dining

  • Publicity and promotion

  • Recruitment

  • Support Services

Contrary to popular belief, Title IX equality does not mean 50/50 equality. Differences that can be explained by specific athletic performance or other circumstances may not be discriminatory. Instead of comparing team to team, the researchers look at the entire sports department program and study all men’s teams along with all women’s teams to see if the treatment is fair. (More on researchers and specific criteria later.)

What impact has Title IX had on sports?

Only 15% of college athletes (less than 30,000) were women. in 1971-72, the season before the passage of Title IX. At that time, women received only 2% of their school sports budgets, and scholarship funds were practically “non-existent”, according to National Coalition of Women and Girls in Education.

Now about 44% of NCAA athletes (218,122 people) are women. according to the governing body.

Title IX caused a similar upsurge at lower levels. In 1972, about 300,000 girls were participating in high school sports; they made up 7% of all high school athletes, according to the NCWGE. After 50 years, according to National Federation of State High School Associations’ latest participation survey, that number topped 3.4 million—roughly 43% of high school athletes. However, girls still have fewer opportunities to participate than pre-Title IX boys (3.6 million).

A common misconception regarding Title IX is that it was detrimental to men’s sports. While women’s sports have grown at a faster rate than men’s sports over the past 50 years – because they started from a socially repressed baseline – men’s sports continue to grow as well. Male participation in NCAA sports has grown from 169,800 in 1982 to over 275,000 last year. Numbers for men and women grew steadily every year from 2002 until the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The consequences of this participation boom have been enormous. Title IX indirectly contributed to the dominance of US women in the Olympics and other international sporting events such as the World Cup. Of the 400 American athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany, only 84 were women. In London in 2012 – two months after the 40th anniversary of Title IX – For the first time, there are more women than men in the US both in terms of the number of participants (269 women, 261 men) and the number of medals (from 58 to 45). The same thing happened in Rio 2016, when the US sent the largest female troop in Olympic history, according to the US team. Last year in Tokyo The Americans would have placed fourth in the medal standings. (66) if they were their own country.

Louisville basketball players wear adidas T-shirts with
Louisville basketball players wear adidas T-shirts with “More Possible” slogan in honor of the 50th anniversary of Title IX. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images for adidas)

which not Section IX completed?

Section IX applies only to educational institutions. Media organizations and professional sports leagues do not fall under its jurisdiction. As a result, there is no mechanism to guarantee equal coverage of women’s and men’s sports, or equal opportunities for investment in professional leagues.

BUT study by professors at Purdue University and the University of Southern California, for example, found that women only benefit from 3-5% of all media coverage of sporting events—about the same amount as they did 30 years ago. In 2019, women’s sports accounted for only 5.4% of all airtime. In 1989 they were 5%; in 1993 – 5.1%. If the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup were excluded from the 2019 figure, it would drop to 3.5%. The study also found that coverage of female athletes was of lower quality and production value.

Now with the rights to the name, image and likeness, female athletes can set their screen time and manage their audience through social media without relying solely on TV networks. Three of the five sports with the highest NIL compensation are owned by women (Women’s Basketball #3, Women’s Volleyball #4, Softball #5), according to opendorse. Although not part of Title IX, the 1-year era of NIL has made progress for women that Title IX has failed to achieve. But differences in reach still limit their visibility, and therefore their earning potential.

Women’s professional sports leagues attract as little interest from investors as they do from the mainstream media. While men’s leagues throughout the 20th century were given decades of grace to tolerate red ink, women’s sports were not given the same patience.

For example, the Women’s United Soccer Association was formed in 2001 immediately after the success of the 1999 World Cup. league lost $90 million in first three seasons ($46 million after the first year, $24 million in the second, and $18 to $19 million in the third) and closed. On the other hand, Major League Soccer, a men’s league founded in 1996 lost about $250 million in the first five years and is still in effect.

Similar discrepancies are found in other sports. The NBA lost between $15 million and $20 million. as recently as 1982, 35th year. Meanwhile, the following women’s sports leagues didn’t live 20 years to figure it out before disappearing into oblivion: Women’s Professional Basketball League (WBL), Women’s National Football League (NWFL), National Pro Fastpitch, Major League Volleyball and successor to WUSA. , Women’s Professional Football League.

So Title IX applies to schools. Do all major colleges follow it?

No. In fact, most of the data, evidence and estimates show that 50% to 100% of Division I sports departments are not in compliance.

Sportzshala Sports Analysis 2020-21 Athletics Fairness Disclosure Act Data found that more than 80% of DI schools did not offer women participation opportunities that were “significantly proportional” to the composition of their student groups—one of the main tests for measuring eligibility.

Some Power Five leaders, most notably the University of North Carolina, will need to add hundreds of female athletes to fit in with their school’s broader gender demographic. Sportzshala Sports’ analysis showed that a total of 308 (out of 348 DI schools) had to add a total of 35,796 women’s seats to the roster to achieve full proportionality.

And this figure is likely to be underestimated. many schools skillfully manipulate their lists and use reporting tactics that make the EADA data look less egregious than the inequality actually is.

How is Title IX compliance measured in collegiate sports? And what is a “three-way test”?

Since the 1970s The US Department of Education (DOE) used the so-called “three-part test”. to assess whether colleges meet the first of three general requirements – equality in participation opportunities.

A school, whether Power Five or NAIA, must do at least one of the following three things:

  1. Serve male and female athletes “in numbers substantially proportionate to their respective enrollment”. Thus, if there are 52% of women among the students of the school, then approximately 52% of the places on the list should be for women. As long as any discrepancies are smaller than the average college sports team, the school meets Pillar 1 and doesn’t need to worry about the other two.

  2. “Show the history and ongoing practice of expanding the program” for the “underrepresented gender”. In the early days of Title IX, many schools catered to Pillar 2 as they emerged from the Middle Ages and added women’s teams. But after 50 years, many experts wonder whether any school, if they have not yet achieved proportionality in Pillar 1, can reasonably claim that they have both a “history” and as well as “constant practice” of expansion.

  3. “Totally and effectively” take into account the “interests and abilities” of the underrepresented sex. To evaluate this, the Department of Energy…


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