Masters Thesis

Exploring the effectiveness of Title IX in regards to women in athletics

For decades, a multitude of men and women have fought for women’s equality in regards to various aspects of life. Legislature not only gave women the right to vote, but the opportunity to be awarded the same privileges as men in athletics and higher education. For years, women were treated as subordinates compared to men. Women were thought to lack the physical abilities that men possessed in order to compete athletically in sports. For some time it was believed that a woman would hurt herself if she exerted too much energy. Beliefs like these led women to be denied the right to participate in athletics let alone go to college and do so. After years of protest women slowly gained the opportunity to compete as men did. In 1972 Congress passed Title IX of the Education Amendments which stated that no person would be discriminated against on the basis of sex. The goals of the program included to accomplish gender equality for women in sports and reduce the number of institutions who were not in compliance. Title IX is overseen by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR). This department has been in charge of making sure that universities around the country abide by the rules and regulations of Title IX. In order to do so the department judges compliance by a three prong test. These prongs were implemented in order to help determine who was in compliance and who was not. Many have debated over whether or not Title IX has accomplished its original goals. Numerous studies have been conducted over the years in order to clear up the matter. This program evaluation reviewed various pieces of literature previously done in regards to Title IX and discovered that the participation rates for women had grown. The evaluation also discovered that there was room for improvement as the number of male participants still greatly outnumbered the number of women. Recommendations were made at the conclusion of this study such as implementing better record keeping of non compliant schools, supporting a larger OCR staff, improving Title IX education training, and closing the overall operating budget gap between males and females. The results from this evaluation will hopefully provide information as to how to go about improving the effectiveness of Title IX in the near future.

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