The Unintended Downside Of Title IX For Women

Today was the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Despite the fact that Title IX safeguards against sexual harassment and discrimination in schools and colleges, the rule is most well-known for requiring colleges and universities to pay men’s and women’s sports equally.

On June 23, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX into law, which is credited with giving female athletes more chances. Only 1% of college athletic funds were allocated to women’s sports programmes in 1971, the year before Title IX became law. Female participation in sports has increased by 614 percent at the collegiate level and by 1057 percent at the high school level as a result of Title IX’s increased support for women’s sports. On its 50th anniversary, Title IX is being recognised for a variety of accomplishments, but it also has drawbacks for women.

Men are the coaches of women’s teams

90% of the head coaching jobs for women’s college teams were occupied by women in 1972, just before Title IX was implemented. Then, after Title IX mandated that colleges and institutions support men’s and women’s sports equally, funding for women’s sports exploded. Universities began paying women’s team coaches substantially more than they had in the past due to Title IX. Men became suddenly interested in these coaching positions that had previously been held by women as more pay became available.

Currently, just 41.1 percent of all coaching positions across all women’s collegiate sports are held by women, according to the 2021 study from The Institute For Diversity And Ethics In Sport (TIDES). The coaching numbers in women’s college sports continue to be the worst statistics revealed by TIDES in all of the report cards we publish each year, according to the institute’s director and principal report author Richard Lapchick. It is shocking that women only hold slightly more than half of all assistant coaching roles and barely 41% of head coaching positions 50 years after the adoption of Title IX. Inequity in sports coaching was ironically brought to light by the rule that was intended to promote equality.

Men’s sports aren’t being coached by women either. As of 2021, women have only 6.8% of head coaching positions on men’s Division 1 teams (a decline from the previous year), and they hold only 4.5 percent and 4.8 percent of those positions in men’s Division II and Division III, respectively.

Women’s Programs And Scholarships Were Made Illegal

In addition to altering the gender composition of college coaching, Title IX has more recently made initiatives to encourage women into STEM disciplines more difficult to implement. Many institutions offer specialised scholarships or initiatives to entice women into these disciplines because they are generally underrepresented in well-paying fields like engineering or computer science.

Universities are not allowed to give awards or programmes exclusively for women for the same reasons that they are not allowed to offer sports to males only under Title IX. Therefore, initiatives to aid women are criticised for discriminating against men. The Department of Education is looking into this and closing down women’s leadership programmes, women-only gym hours, and even women-only scholarships and honours at institutions. According to Title IX, these initiatives discriminate against men.

Title IX has unintended consequences, just like many other legislation designed to aid a specific group. The 50th anniversary of Title IX should be honoured, but we also need to be cognizant of its drawbacks.

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