No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational programs or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
— From the preamble to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Title IX, as a landmark civil rights law, affects all aspects of schooling by requiring equal opportunity for females and males. The following highlights suggest many of the significant developments in gender equity that can be linked to Title IX.
Since its passage in 1972, Title IX has had a profound impact on helping to change attitudes, assumptions and behavior and consequently, our understanding about how sexual stereotypes can limit educational opportunities. We know, for example, that gender is a poor predictor of one’s interests, proficiency in academic subjects, or athletic ability. Decision making in education and in the labor market that is based on gender to assess what students and employees know and are able to do is both archaic and ineffective.
Everyone Benefits from Title IX
Title IX prohibits institutions that receive federal funding from practicing gender discrimination in educational programs or activities. Because almost all schools receive federal funds, Title IX applies to nearly everyone. The Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education is charged with enforcing the civil rights and regulations in education. When Title IX is mentioned, most people think about gender equity in athletics. However, Title IX also covers acts that can impact educational opportunities for all, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, dating and intimate partner violence (dating and domestic violence).