Last updated on: 10/5/2007 | Author:

Is Title IX, the Law Protecting People against Discrimination Based on Their Sex, a Good Law?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the law protecting against discrimination based on sex, stated:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the US Department of Education explained in a Mar. 17, 2005 letter titled “Additional Clarification of Intercollegiate Athletics Policy: Three Part Test – Part Three”:

“[T]he Department [of Education] established a three-part test that OCR will apply to determine whether an institution is effectively accommodating student athletic interests and abilities. An institution is in compliance with the three-part test if it has met any one of the following three parts of the test:

(1) the percent of male and female athletes is substantially proportionate to the percent of male and female students enrolled at the school; or
(2) the school has a history and continuing practice of expanding participation opportunities for the underrepresented sex; or
(3) the school is fully and effectively accommodating the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex.”

Mar. 17, 2005

PRO (yes)


Joanna Grossman, JD, Associate Professor of Law Hofstra University, wrote in her June 18, 2002 article “On the Thirtieth Anniversary of Title IX, We Need to Preserve, Not Reverse, Its Guarantee of Equity For Women in College Athletics”:

“Title IX has turned out to be one of the most important piece of protection for women against sex discrimination – and in particular, a crucial way to ensure women’s equality in college athletics…

The media… suggests that the only way schools achieve proportionality is by cutting men’s ‘minor’ sports…

The reason men’s teams must sometimes be cut is because for decades they have received more resources than they should have. Men had almost unlimited opportunities to participate in sports because women were denied them, and this denial freed up money the men’s teams could use. This artificially inflated allocation of resources–due in large part to stereotypes about women and their lack of interest and ability in sports–does not create an entitlement to have such resources continue.”

June 18, 2002


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wrote in an Apr. 23, 2004 “Letter to the Department of Education on Single-Sex Proposed Regulations Comments”:

“Title IX has played a vital role in opening doors for girls and women over the past thirty years… Title IX was designed to be a strong, comprehensive measure that addresses the many forms of sex discrimination in education… Title IX ended these discriminatory practices in vocational schools, professional schools, and coeducational colleges and universities…

Title IX has also made a profound impact in the area of athletics. In 1971, fewer than 300,000 high school girls participated in interscholastic sports, and by 1997, that number had grown to over 2.4 million. This development is important not merely because female students have more opportunities, but also because athletic involvement during school leads to benefits in health and education.

[B]y opening the doors to educational opportunities, and rejecting sex segregation and disparate treatment in favor of inclusion and equality, Title IX has allowed enormous advances for women and girls.”

Apr. 23, 2004


Donna De Varona, Olympic Gold Medalist in swimming, and Julie Foudy, Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist in soccer, wrote in their Feb. 2003 “Minority Views on the Report of the Commission on Opportunity in Athletics,” submitted to Secretary of Education Roderick Paige:

“Title IX, and the three-part test that implements it, have opened doors for millions of women and girls to obtain the benefits of participating in competitive athletics…

The Department’s current athletics policies, in place through Republican and Democratic administrations and upheld by every federal appellate court to examine them, have worked to open doors to millions of girls and women to gain the benefits of participating in competitive sports. The playing field is not yet level, however, and the policies must be maintained in order to ensure that women and girls receive the truly equal opportunity they are afforded by the law.”

Feb. 2003

CON (no)


Jessica Gavora, Communications Director at the College Sports Council, wrote in a Jan. 31, 2005 article, “Girl Power,” published by the National Review Online:

“Long before there was an Axis of Evil, pro-gender-quota feminists perfected a preemptive war strategy… The idea was to forestall reform to implementation of Title IX… by greeting any consideration of change with rhetoric designed to incite indignation among soccer moms and inspire fear among the politicians who court them…

[O]ver the years, bureaucrats have worked hand-in-hand with women’s activists and trial lawyers to make [Title IX’s] three-part test a one-part test of statistical proportionality. And as long as the clear, quantifiable, but deeply illiberal proportionality test is on the books, it will be the refuge sought by judges faced with difficult questions of equity — and the socially engineered outcome promoted by feminists and their lawyers.”

Jan. 31, 2005


Phyllis Schlafly, JD, founder and president of Eagle Forum, wrote in her July 23, 2003 column, “Bush Administration Caves Into the Feminists on Title IX”:

“At least 56 percent of college students are women, yet only a fraction seek to compete in intercollegiate sports. The Clintonian feminists’ ‘proportionality’ test laid down the absurd rule that fewer than 56 percent of women on athletic teams would be judged unlawful sex discrimination. To protect against lawsuits, colleges have been disbanding men’s teams, a practice that doesn’t benefit women in the slightest…

It is unjust to limit the number of men in intercollegiate sports to the relative number of women in college. Discrimination should be based on opportunity (the word in the regulation) rather than on equal results.”

July 23, 2003


The Independent Women’s Forum’s (IWF) Director of Policy, Carrie L. Lukas, in a June 24, 2005 article titled “Happy Birthday, Title IX,” wrote:

“Fulfilling student interest was always supposed to be one way to comply with Title IX. But given the threat of costly legislation, few universities have been willing to risk relying on compliance through such an inherently subjective measure. The only foolproof way for colleges and universities to avoid lawsuits was to make their athletic rosters ‘proportional’ to overall enrollment…

Hostility toward reform is likely based on fear of what an honest assessment may find: that more men are drawn to sports than women… The feminists and left-wing politicians who sing the praises of Title IX don’t want to face these facts. They envision a world in which men and women act the same and are equally represented in all walks of life. But that’s not how actual men and women behave. These social engineers want government to force that outcome anyway.”

June 24, 2005