Title IX

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Title IX is a section of the Civil Rights Act which mandates that no one "be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance" on account of sex. 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a). Title IX became law in 1972.

Congress expressly prohibited quotas:[1]

Nothing contained in . . . this section shall be interpreted to require any educational institution to grant preferential or disparate treatment to the members of one sex on account of an imbalance which may exist with respect to the total number or percentage of persons of that sex participating in or receiving the benefits of any federal program or activity, in comparison with the total number or percentage of persons of that sex in any community, State, section, or other area.

The author of Title IX, Representative Edith Green, later lamented that:[2]

In 1972 when we enacted the Higher Education Act--including Title IX--to end discrimination against women, we sought to be exceedingly explicit so that the establishment of quotas would be prohibited. I was surprised and dismayed when complaints from colleges and universities came in stating that the Department of Labor was requiring them to meet quotas. . . . Title IX was not designed to do away with intercollegiate sports.

Proportionality Test

Title IX is controversial not for what it says, but how it is applied. Under informal regulations adopted by the Democratic Administrations of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, a gender proportionality test may be applied to schools that receive any federal money concerning. This test causes these institutions to attempt to have the same proportion of boys and girls on sports teams as are enrolled in the school, regardless of interest in sports. Some seek to apply this proportionality test to math and science programs also.

Courts have misapplied Title IX to allow massive jury awards whenever a coach is let go or not rehired. For example, a California trial court awarded over $5.8 million to an ex-volleyball coach because she claimed that a state college did not renew her coaching contract "because of her perceived sexual orientation and her speaking up on behalf of female athletes."[3]

Over 400 men's sports teams have been eliminated by the quota-based application of Title IX, including over 170 wrestling teams.[4]

Legal Standard

"Title IX requires complaining parties to meet a particularly tough test. Damages can be won only when a school district has shown 'deliberate indifference.'" This is in contrast with the standard under Section 1983, and in 2009 the Supreme Court will decide whether both remedies are available for lawsuits against public schools, or only Title IX.[5]

Homosexual Agenda

Title IX is being increasingly used by the homosexual agenda to justify lawsuits against institutions based on sexual orientation. In 2001 the U.S. Department of Education issued this guideline:

Although Title IX does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, sexual harassment directed at gay or lesbian students that is sufficiently serious to limit or deny a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program constitutes sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX


  1. 20 U.S.C. § 1681(b).
  2. Edith Green, "The Road Is Paved With Good Intentions," Address at Brigham Young University (Jan. 25, 1977).
  3. Seattle Times
  4. http://www.athleticscholarships.net/title-ix-college-athletics-6.htm
  5. http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20081201/court01_st.art.htm?POE=click-refer

See also