This paper reflects the research and thoughts of a student at the time the paper was written for a course at Bryn Mawr College. Like other materials on Serendip, it is not intended to be "authoritative" but rather to help others further develop their own explorations. Web links were active as of the time the paper was posted but are not updated.

Contribute Thoughts | Search Serendip for Other Papers | Serendip Home Page

Women, Sport, and Film - 2004
Student Papers
On Serendip

Title IX and the Expansion of Educational Rights for Women

Kate Amlin

Title IX legislation, passed in 1972, expanded the rights of an individual in ed ucational opportunities. It equalized academic prospects for individuals by ensuring that males and females must have equal access to educational possibilities. Title IX is traditionally attributed to the growth of athletic programs for women by demanding that programs for women are given the same amount of money and attention as men's teams. However, Title IX has dealt with a plethora of equality issues in education that have been overshadowed, for the most part, by the legislation's impressive impact on women in sports.

Title IX is attributed to have an important effect on the number of women in higher education. Richard W. Riley, former U.S. Secretary of Education, asserted that, "The great untold story of success that resulted from the passage of Title IX is surely the progress that has been achieved in education. In 1971, only 18 percent of all women, compared to 26 percent of all men, had completed four or more years of college. This education gap no longer exists. Women now make up the majority of students in America's colleges and universities in addition to making up the majority of recipients of master's degrees. Indeed, the United States has become a world leader in giving women the opportunity to receive a higher education." (25 Years of Progress, The U.S. Department of Education, Many universities and colleges did not allow women entrance before the legislation (The Legislative Road to Title IX, The U.S. Department of Education, p. online). Title IX has had a huge positive outcome on the availability of higher educational opportunities for women by making sure that women are given equal opportunities to men that help them graduate from and achieve academic success past secondary levels of schooling. This has logically resulted in an increased number of women in more specialized and higher paid jobs. Title IX is effectually changing the face of the American workplace by giving women the opportunity to learn, compete, and surpass men.

Title IX also increased the opportunity of women to be free from sexual harassment in schools. It made sure that, "A high school student who was alleged ly subjected to sexual harassment and abuse by her coach-teacher could seek monetary damages against a school district under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972" (Wooster, "Sexual Harassment of Students under Title IX," p. lexis-nexis). It is extremely important that young woman are given a voice to address abuse in the educational system. Title IX ensures that violations of a woman's physical integrity will not go unnoticed.

Title IX makes sure that pregnant and parenting women will not be excluded from public schools. There is absolutely no reason why a young mother should not be given access to education. Denying pregnant and parenting women from public schools is an antiquated ideal left over from a time where young girls who became pregnant were labeled as outcasts for their perceived sexual promiscuity. Title IX breaks this stereotype that women who are pregnant or mothers can't learn and guarantees that young pregnant women will not be discriminated against.

Title IX has helped women enter the academic world, where they have achieved fantastic success and surpassed expectations. Without Title IX, women would still be kept out of the best universities in the country. Without Title IX, most women would not have access to graduate degrees. Without Title IX, pregnant girls would be forced to drop out of school. Without Title IX, the majority of schools would still only have limited opportunities for women in sports.

But Title IX is in no way a panacea for the sexual inequalities that are deeply imbedded in the American way of life. Legislation has not changed mindsets. We must make sure that women continue to become more involved in traditionally male-dominated fields in the educational system and in society. Women need to be encouraged to specialize in math and the hard sciences. Women need to fight so that standardized tests do not include male-oriented biases. Women need to make sure that the bleachers are filled for athletic events involving women's sports teams.

Title IX has helped women achieve success in the educational arena, but its success is by no means enough for women in general. Educating women goes far towards breaking patriarchal stereotypes, but we need to make sure that all of society is women-friendly. Activism that is backed with such precedent as Title IX will do wonders to increase the influence and power of women in society.

"Title IX: 25 Years of Progress." The U.S. Department of Education, June, 1997. Accessed 9 pm, 3/4/2004. Page available at

Wooster, Ann K. "Sex Discrimination in Public Education under Title IX," The American Law Reports Federal. 1999, West Group, accessed at 9 pm, 3/4/2004. p. lexis-nexis.

| Course Home Page | Center for Science In Society | Serendip Home |

Send us your comments at Serendip

© by Serendip 1994-2007 - Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-May-2018 10:51:25 CDT