Title IX, Educational Amendments of 1972
Title IX, Educational Amendments of 1972
By: United States Code
Date: June 23, 1972
Source: U.S. Code. "Title IX Educational Amendments of 1972." Title 20, Chapter 38, Sections 1681–1688. June 23, 1972.
About the Author: The United States Code is the set of general and permanent laws that govern the United States. The House of Representatives prepares the Code and revisions are published every six years. The Code is arranged into fifty Titles. Title 20 deals with education. Chapter 38 describes the laws pertaining to "Discrimination Based on Sex or Blindness."
In the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, Representative Martha Griffiths, a Democrat from the state of Michigan, worked to insert "gender" into the language of the act, thereby offering women in the United States the legal protections granted to minorities. While the act included the desegregation of all public schools and the federal power to enforce it, as well as the desegregation of restaurants, movie houses, public transportation, restrooms, fountains, gas stations, hotels, and sporting arenas, it also prohibited discrimination on the basis of gender.
President Lyndon Johnson's 1965 Executive Order 11246, which prohibited discrimination by federal contractors, was amended in 1968 to include gender as a protected class. Representative Martha Griffiths, aided by a University of Maryland professor, Bernice Sandler, worked on the issue of discrimination against women in education. The two began their work in 1970, and Griffiths was joined by Representative Edith Green, a Democrat from Ohio, in drafting legislation that would expressly forbid discrimination against women in education. In the early 1970s, women earned eighteen percent of all bachelor's degrees, nine percent of all medical degrees, seven percent of all law degrees, and twenty-five percent of all doctoral degrees, in spite of the fact that women were just over fifty percent of the overall population of the United States.
Initial efforts included the revision of previous civil rights legislation, such as Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the extension of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to executives, administrators, and professionals. With the support of Democratic Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana and Democratic Senator George McGovern of South Dakota, by 1972 the bill drafted by Representative Green had acquired a separate title: Title IX.
As the preamble to Title IX states, "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." When President Richard Nixon signed the act into law on June 23, 1972, few realized the impact this law would have on gender relations, education, and sports in the United States.
TITLE IX, EDUCATIONAL AMENDMENTS OF 1972
Section 1681. Sex (a) Prohibition against discrimination; exceptions. 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 education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance, except that:
(1) Classes of educational institutions subject to prohibition in regard to admissions to educational institutions, this section shall apply only to institutions of vocational education, professional education, and graduate higher education, and to public institutions of undergraduate higher education;
(2) Educational institutions commencing planned change in admissions in regard to admissions to educational institutions, this section shall not apply (A) for one year from June 23, 1972, nor for six years after June 23, 1972, in the case of an educational institution which has begun the process of changing from being an institution which admits only students of one sex to being an institution which admits students of both sexes, but only if it is carrying out a plan for such a change which is approved by the Secretary of Education or (B) for seven years from the date an educational institution begins the process of changing from being an institution which admits only students of one sex to being an institution which admits students of both sexes, but only if it is carrying out a plan for such a change which is approved by the Secretary of Education, whichever is the later;
(3) Educational institutions of religious organizations with contrary religious tenets this section shall not apply to any educational institution which is controlled by a religious organization if the application of this subsection would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization;
(4) Educational institutions training individuals for military services or merchant marine this section shall not apply to an educational institution whose primary purpose is the training of individuals for the military services of the United States, or the merchant marine;
(5) Public educational institutions with traditional and continuing admissions policy in regard to admissions this section shall not apply to any public institution of undergraduate higher education which is an institution that traditionally and con tinually from its establishment has had a policy of admit ting only students of one sex;
(6) Social fraternities or sororities; voluntary youth service organizations this section shall not apply to membership practices—
(A) of a social fraternity or social sorority which is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of Title 26, the active membership of which consists primarily of students in attendance at an institution of higher education, or
(B) of the Young Men's Christian Association, Young Women's Christian Association; Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, and voluntary youth service organizations which are so exempt, the membership of which has traditionally been limited to persons of one sex and principally to persons of less than nineteen years of age;
(7) Boy or Girl conferences this section shall not apply to—
(A) any program or activity of the American Legion undertaken in connection with the organization or operation of any Boys State conference, Boys Nation conference, Girls State conference, or Girls Nation conference; or
(B) any program or activity of any secondary school or educational institution specifically for—
(i) the promotion of any Boys State conference, Boys Nation conference, Girls State conference, or Girls Nation conference; or
(ii) the selection of students to attend any such conference;
(8) Father-son or mother-daughter activities at educational institutions this section shall not preclude father-son or mother-daughter activities at an educational institution, but if such activities are provided for students of one sex, opportunities for reasonably comparable activities shall be provided for students of the other sex; and
(9) Institutions of higher education scholarship wards in "beauty" pageants this section shall not apply with respect to any scholarship or other financial assistance awarded by an institution of higher education to any individual because such individual has received such award in any pageant in which the attainment of such award is based upon a combination of factors related to the personal appearance, poise, and talent of such individual and in which participation is limited to individuals of one sex only, so long as such pageant is in compliance with other nondiscrimination provisions of Federal law.
(b) Preferential or disparate treatment because of imbalance in participation or receipt of Federal benefits; statistical evidence of imbalance. Nothing contained in subsection (a) of 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 federally supported program or activity, in comparison with the total number or percentage of persons of that sex in any community, State, section, or other area: Provided, that this subsection shall not be construed to prevent the consideration in any hearing or proceeding under this chapter of statistical evidence tending to show that such an imbalance exists with respect to the participation in, or receipt of the benefits of, any such program or activity by the members of one sex.
(c) Educational institution defined. For the purposes of this chapter an educational institution means any public or private preschool, elementary, or secondary school, or any institution of vocational, professional, or higher education, except that in the case of an educational institution composed of more than one school, college, or department which are administratively separate units, such term means each such school, college or department.
Section 1682. Federal administrative enforcement; report to Congressional committees Each Federal department and agency which is empowered to extend Federal financial assistance to any education program or activity, by way of grant, loan, or contract other than a contract of insurance or guaranty, is authorized and directed to effectuate the provisions of section 1681 of this title with respect to such program or activity by issuing rules, regulations, or orders of general applicability which shall be consistent with achievement of the objectives of the statute authorizing the financial assistance in connection with which the action is taken. No such rule, regulation, or order shall become effective unless and until approved by the President. Compliance with any requirement adopted pursuant to this section may be effected (1) by the termination of or refusal to grant or to continue assistance under such program or activity to any recipient as to whom there has been an express finding on the record, after opportunity for hearing, of a failure to comply with such requirement, but such termination or refusal shall be limited to the particular political entity, or part thereof, or other recipient as to whom such a finding has been made, and shall be limited in its effect to the particular program, or part thereof, in which such noncompliance has been so found, or (2) by any other means authorized by law: Provided, however, that no such action shall be taken until the department or agency concerned has advised the appropriate person or persons of the failure to comply with the requirement and has determined that compliance cannot be secured by voluntary means. In the case of any action terminating, or refusing to grant or continue, assistance because of failure to comply with a requirement imposed pursuant to this section, the head of the Federal department or agency shall file with the committees of the House and Senate having legislative jurisdiction over the program or activity involved a full written report of the circumstances and the grounds for such action. No such action shall become effective until thirty days have elapsed after the filing of such report.
Section 1683. Judicial Review Any department or agency action taken pursuant to section 1682 of this title shall be subject to such judicial review as may otherwise be provided by law for similar action taken by such department or agency on other grounds. In the case of action, not otherwise subject to judicial review, terminating or refusing to grant or to continue financial assistance upon a finding of failure to comply with any requirement imposed pursuant to section 1682 of this title, any person aggrieved (including any State or political subdivision thereof and any agency of either) may obtain judicial review of such action in accordance with chapter 7 of title 5, United States Code, and such action shall not be deemed committed to unre-viewable agency discretion within the meaning of section 701 of that title.
Section 1684. Blindness or visual impairment; prohibition against discrimination No person in the United States shall, on the ground of blindness or severely impaired vision, be denied admission in any course of study by a recipient of Federal financial assistance for any education program or activity; but nothing herein shall be construed to require any such institution to provide any special services to such person because of his blindness or visual impairment.
Section 1685. Authority under other laws unaffected Nothing in this chaper shall add to or detract from any existing authority with respect to any program or activity under which Federal financial assistance is extended by way of a contract of insurance or guaranty.
Section 1686. Interpretation with respect to living facilities Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this chapter, nothing contained herein shall be construed to prohibit any educational institution receiving funds under this Act, from maintaining separate living facilities for the different sexes.
Section 1687. Interpretation of "program or activity" For the purposes of this title, the term "program or activity" and "program" mean all of the operations of—
(1)(A) a department, agency, special purpose district, or other instrumentality of a State or of a local government; or
(B) the entity of such State or local government that distributed such assistance and each such department or agency (and each other State or local government entity) to which the assistance is extended, in the case of assistance to a State or local government;
(2)(A) a college, university, or other postsecondary institution, or a public system of higher education; or
(B) a local educational agency (as defined in section 2854(a)(10) of this title), system of vocational education, or other school system;
(3)(A) an entire corporation, partnership, or other private organization, or an entire sole proprietorship—
(i) if assistance is extended to such corporation, partnership, private organization, or sole proprietorship as a whole; or
(ii) which is principally engaged in the business of providing education, health care, housing, social services, or parks and recreation; or
(B) the entire plant or other comparable, geographically separate facility to which Federal financial assistance is extended, in the case of any other corporation, partnership, private organization, or sole proprietorship; or
(4) any other entity which is established by two or more of the entities described in paragraph (l), (2) or (3);
any part of which is extended Federal financial assistance, except that such term does not include any operation of an entity which is controlled by a religious organization if the application of section 1681 if this title to such operation would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization.
Section 1688. Neutrality with respect to abortion Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require or prohibit any person, or public or private entity, to provide or pay for any benefit or service, including the use of facilities, related to an abortion. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit a penalty to be imposed on any person or individual because such person or individual is seeking or has received any benefit or service related to a legal abortion.
The role that Title IX would play in sports equality was not a major impetus for its passage in 1972. Over time, however, Title IX became a powerful legal tool in the courts for women, girls, their parents, and coaches to fight for equal access, equipment, and facilities in sporting events and teams.
Lawsuits such as the 1984 Grove City v. Bell decision, which reaffirmed that Title IX applied only to sports in which federal funds were used, or the 1992 Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools, which held that punitive damages could be applied if intentional violation of Title IX was at the heart of court cases, helped to clarify Title IX's role in regulating gender equality in education and sports.
According to a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) report on gender equity in college sports, while women represent fifty-four percent of all enrolled college students, their participation rate in college sports is only at forty-one percent. Other inequities in collegiate athletics, some thirty years after Title IX's passage, include the fact that on the whole, women received a percentage of athletic scholarship dollars greater than their participation percentage, leading critics to point to perceived unfairness with Title IX application. Critics of the legislation have long argued that Title IX punishes male athletes, turning the legislation into a quota system.
In terms of educational opportunities in federally funded institutions, surveys show that compared to 1972 rates, in 1994 twenty-seven percent of women earned bachelor's degrees, thirty-eight percent of medical degrees, forty-three percent of law degrees, and forty-four percent of doctoral degrees. Title IX's role in providing protection against discrimination for women in federally funded educational institutions—both on the playing field and in the classroom—combined with such legislation as the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, led to a marked increase in female participation in educational opportunity and sports, and continues to be a topic of debate in U.S. society.
Critics of Title IX claim that in order to achieve equal participation rates in sports, many schools must drop male-only athletic teams, such as wrestling or football. Others charge that Title IX is in effect a quota system, and inherently discriminatory.
In 2005, the Supreme Court upheld the right of a basketball coach to sue his school district for retaliating against him when he reported Title IX violations; Roderick Jackson, a Birmingham Alabama girls" basketball coach, complained that boys were receiving better equipment than his team. After being fired by his school district, Jackson sued. The case went to the Supreme Court, where his right to sue was upheld in part by the court's determination that Title IX" impact would be diluted if those who report infractions are met with retaliation and no legal recourse. In its decision the court stressed the importance of such reports to enforce Title IX in full.
Wushanley, Wang. Playing Nice and Losing: The Struggle for Control of Women's Intercollegiate Athletics, 1960–2000. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 2004.
The Chronicle of Higher Education. "Title IX at 30." June 21, 2002. 〈http://chronicle.com/free/v48/i41/41a03801.htm〉 (accessed May 14, 2006).
NCAA. "1999–2000 Gender-Equity Report." 〈http://www.ncaa.org/library/research/gender_equity_study/1999-00/1999-00_gender_equity_report.pdf〉 (accessed May 14, 2006).
Washington Post. "High Court Supports Title IX Protection." March 30, 2005. 〈http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A9404-2005Mar29.html〉 (accessed May 14, 2006).