By Angeline Seames
Title IX: is a piece of legislation included in the Education Amendments of 1972 that requires schools that receive federal funds to provide girls and women with equal opportunity to compete in sports
Since the beginning, and as time has gone on, Title IX has affected sports in many different ways. When Title IX had just passed in 1972 there were still problems occurring for women across college campuses.
In 1971, the year before Title IX became law, fewer than 300,000 girls participated in high school sports, about one in 27. Today, the number approaches 3 million, or approximately one in 2½ (Garber).
The number of women participating in intercollegiate sports in that same span has gone from about 30,000 to more than 150,000. In the last 20 years alone, the number of women’s college teams has nearly doubled (Garber).
Before Title IX, only tennis and golf had established professional tours. Today, there are also women’s professional leagues for soccer, volleyball, bowling and two for basketball. Women have even made inroads in the traditionally male sports of boxing and mixed martial arts (Garber).
In 1976 the women’s crew from Yale protested to the Director of Physical Education by writing Title IX or IX on their backs or chest while naked in front of the director. The crew team had this protest to show what a cold shower caused to happen to these young women. The men rowing team on the other hand used the boathouse that had warm showers, while the woman’s used a trailer with four shower heads with only cold water. With this occurring some of the woman on the crew team got sick from sitting on a cold bus, soaking wet, in cold clothes. Nineteen women from the crew team showed up with Chris Ernst the captain to the appointment with the Director of Physical Education. The response from alumni and the nation caused more action to occur with Title IX. Alumni sent checks to help build a girls locker room the next year in the boathouse. With this happening, Title IX became a rally cry for other women on campuses. A documentary was created in 1999 called “A Hero For Daisy.”
Throughout time things have definitely changed for woman and Title IX.
Here are some stats:
1 in 27 – # of high school girls competing in sports prior to Title IX
1 in every 2.5 – # of high school girls competing in sports today
3714 – more women’s teams on college campuses than there were in 1972
989 – more men’s teams
32,000 – # of female college athletes in 1972
164,998 – # of female college athletes today
8.7 – The average number of women’s teams offered per NCAA school in 2005.
2 – # of women’s teams offered per NCAA school in 1972
33% of total NCAA athletic budgets spent on ALL women’s sports (title nine)
While women comprise approximately 54 percent of the enrollment in the 832 schools that responded to the NCAA’s 1999-2000 Gender Equity Study, they account for only 41 percent of the athletes. This violates Title IX’s premise that the ratio of female athletes and male athletes should be roughly equivalent to the overall proportion of female and male students (Garber).
According to 2000-2001 figures, men’s college programs still maintain significant advantages over women’s in average scholarships (60.5 percent), operating expenses (64.5 percent), recruiting expenses (68.2 percent) and head coaching salaries (59.5 percent) (Garber).
Only 44 percent of the head coaches of women’s teams are female, an all-time low that represents less than half the pre-Title IX figure (Garber).
Today, despite these advances, there is still gender discrimination that limits sporting opportunities for women at the intercollegiate level. Despite Title IX’s success in opening doors to women and girls, the playing field is far from level for them. For example, although women in division I colleges are 53 percent of the student body, they receive only 41 percent of the opportunities to play sports, 36 percent of overall athletic operating budgets and 32 percent of the dollars spent to recruit new athletes.
The United States General Accounting Office had recently done a report on the participation level of men and women athletics. According to their report, men’s intercollegiate athletic participation rose from approximately 220,000 in 1981–1982 to approximately 232,000 in 1998–1999. Between 1981 and 1982 and 1998 and 1999, football participation increased by 7,199—offsetting wrestling’s loss of 2,648 participants; outdoor track’s loss of 1,706 participants; tennis’s loss of 1,405 participants; and gymnastics’ loss of 1,022 participants. Other sports that gained participants include baseball (+5,452), lacrosse (+2,000) and soccer (+1,932). It is very clear that although more women’s teams than men’s have been added every year, there are still many men’s teams being added to compensate the programs that have been dropped (GAO 2001).
Garber, Greg. “Landmark Law Faces New Challenges Even Now.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Web. 20 Nov. 2015. <http://espn.go.com/gen/womenandsports/020619title9.html>.
General Accounting Office. “GENDER EQUITY Men’s and Women’s Participation in Higher Education.” United States General Accounting Office, 15 Dec. 2001. Web. 20 Nov. 2015. <http://www.gao.gov/assets/240/231026.pdf>.
“What Is Title IX?” Title Nine. Web. 20 Nov. 2015. <http://www.titlenine.com/category/who are we/title ix- what is it-.do>.