«Title IX» - Great Essay Sample

«Title IX»

Introduction

Title IX was passed on 23 June 1972. Firstly, the law prohibits discrimination against female students and employees. Secondly, it provides a strong tool for the admission of women into all types of postsecondary programs. However, there was little recognition of the broad coverage that Title IX would command, especially in athletics and academics. A related issue is that of financial aid and gender. Title IX orders that financial aid funds administered by the institutions should not discriminate anyone based on sex, marital and parental status. In the past, a pregnant woman or a mother-student were routinely discriminated in terms of extracurricular activities, courses and academic placement. However, there were no such sanctions for a father-student. Title IX has eliminated this disparity. Furthermore, the law has a wide focus on sexual harassment; it prohibits sexual harassment of both students and employees. Title IX has been a credible legislation for creating remarkable unity amongst women in sports, educational and working environments.

Problem Definition

The enforcement of Title IX has become an uphill battle. While this legislation was created to promote significant equity amongst women in working and educational environments, there are few negative issues in it (Aleman & Renn, 2002). Firstly, the two most controversial issues, athletics and sexual harassment, continue to draw media attention and are subjects of lawsuits. Most of the female athletes have filed many cases under Title IX. However, most of them ended up with a settlement rather than a court order (Aleman & Renn, 2002). Secondly, although the legislation stipulates the obligation to provide necessary funds for women’s teams, it does not require the equality of aggregate expenditures for teams of each sex.

In relation to sexual offenses, harassment cases involving faculty-student or student-student have taken a different path. Many of the court cases and incidents reported are shocking cases of sexual abuse or blatant overreaction. In the higher education cases, both the harasser and victim are treated to be adults (Aleman & Renn, 2002). However, although university authorities forbid unwanted sexual advances between faculty and students, consensual affairs are viewed in different ways. There are claims that such situations should not be subjected to scrutiny. Under Title IX, harassment cases may be pursued only against the institution, not the individual harasser (Aleman & Renn, 2002). The dominant problems on athletics and sexual harassment are more of public concern than private one.

In terms of employment, women are often denied admission based on the gender. For instance, the number of males in military academies outweighs the number of female recruits (Aleman & Renn, 2002). In addition, female employees face obstacles in climbing the corporate ladder. In some cases, they are forced to defer to sexual favors for them to be promoted. The fruition of Title IX also faces a competing problem (Aleman & Renn, 2002). A disabled woman who feels shame or low-esteem may deny or blame herself for the occurrence of nonconsensual sexual abuse. Moreover, many individuals with disabilities have restricted access to educational resources. As a result, they consider themselves to be less powerful than people without disabilities.

Women groups such as WEAL and Project on the Status and Education of Women for the Association of American Colleges played an active role as Title IX stakeholders. They supported the affirmative action against gender discrimination (Maslak, 2007). Firstly, they drew attention to the female students who were victims of second-class treatment. Secondly, they dismissed concerns about how gender equality would affect funding of men’s sports. These cases continue to rise in public attention. A comprehensive solution has not been formulated to eradicate these problems (Maslak, 2007). On the one hand, the increased number of women joining postsecondary institutions marks one of the effects of Title IX. On the other hand, here lies a competing problem; the criticism from the proponents of gender parity in campuses (Maslak, 2007). For example, in some cases regarding admissions to private undergraduate postsecondary institutions in the United States, less qualified males are being admitted instead of more qualified female peers.

The efforts of stakeholders to facilitate the fruition of Title IX are still lagging behind desirable levels. Political systems are undermining the realization of the policy thereby drawing more public attention to the issue (Maslak, 2007). For instance, despite the legislation being in practice for more three decades, women still lag behind as faculty members and senior administrators. In particular, in male-dominated disciplines, their gains in salaries, benefits and tenured positions often do not match those of men. Moreover, cases regarding nominations inequities, cultural and structural constraints inhibit their progress (Maslak, 2007). The defenders of the regulation mostly included women’s groups, which maintained that the activities funded by the federal government for tuition fees should not be discriminative.

Furthermore, although Title IX has had significant impact on the lives of girls and women, its scope of legislation was significantly narrowed through the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Grove City College (Maslak, 2007). The court pronounced a decision that those programs that did not receive direct funding from the federal government are not covered by the provisions of Title IX (Maslak, 2007). In this case, institutions can demonstrate that not all programs, for example, athletics, benefited directly from federal funding. It also had ramifications for other civil rights laws. For instance, the Civil Rights Restoration Act restored the original intent of Title IX (Maslak, 2007). The Act obliged a program or activity that received federal funds to include an entire institution. The rocky history of Title IX demonstrates the difficulty in protecting and expanding rights that promote gender equality. It also faces challenges in maintaining the positive impact of such civil rights legislation (Maslak, 2007). For instance, the 1996 Summer Olympics showcased numerous American sportswomen who were of the first generation to grow up under Title IX.

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Basically, the interpretation of the legislation meant that elementary and secondary schools and universities that had traditionally committed a big share of their resources to sports programs for males would be bound to allocate the same amounts to women’s teams. The passing of Title IX would now require an equal support to programs for female students. However, the critics of the legislation complain that such equality would be impossible to achieve (Cooper, Cibulka & Fusarelli, 2008). Further, the attempts to achieve such equality would ultimately dilute the athletic accomplishments and reputations made by the institutions. It is in the area of sports that Title IX seems to have been most effective. The increased presence of women in previously male-dominated fields is a highly positive achievement. To some extent, it has helped in demolition of many sexual stereotypes as seen in 1996 Olympics (Simon, 2005). Yet, there is the need to find the possibility of introducing new content. It includes gender-equitable sexual education programs so that social relations could be redefined. It would also provide for the training of teachers.

Traditionally, the levels of federal funding did not enable large numbers of teachers to undergo training in gender issues (Simon, 2005). Federal assistance does not cover most of programs on gender sensitivity. Issues such as sexual harassment by teachers and peers, negative expectations by teachers and counselling were given minimal attention. In this case, the state should make accommodations that might increase the legitimacy of Title IX without setting in motion restructuring of society (Simon, 2005). Essentially, in both the Senate and the White House the amendments that support as well as restrict legislation on gender equities are made. For instance, politicians frequently take the position that gender equity has already been achieved and that no special mechanisms are necessary (Simon, 2005). The reality is that Title IX has brought dramatic changes to the spheres, in which gender parity in university degrees is being achieved. However, the feminization and masculinization of several fields remains uncontested.

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Title IX is a significant piece of legislation that supported gender equality. However, its fruition has been fraught with problems since its passage. The greatest resistance to the realization of the policy concerns the provisions related to academic institutions and athletics. These are the regulations that seek for the equalization of sports opportunities and rewards (Cooper et al., 2008). Adequate staffing and funding of these provisions was a difficult political struggle for feminists and advocacy coalitions. The implementation of Title IX is challenged, first of all, by cultural forces that protect traditions of males’ sports (Cooper et al., 2008). For instance, in the Grove City v. Bell case, the court decision protects universities from any forceful penalties for failing to implement sex equity. There are some cases when coaches would be fired for protesting against small funding that their girls’ teams got comparing to that of the boys’ teams.

Furthermore, there are more competing issues because gender equity is no longer seen as a priority. The gender problems in education have been reduced due to the academic performance of women in certain disciplines. However, the current situation is hostile to gender equality and equity; this means that the legal struggle should continue (Cooper et al., 2008). In addition, private feminist groups should have the ability to influence policy and its implementation in order to facilitate the advancement of women.

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First of all, the achievements of the Title IX are greatly seen in the increased number of female participants in the Olympics during the past four decades. Further, the differences in educational attainment have changed over the past few decades; the female attainment in now greater than that of males at each level of education (Simon, 2005). This leads to success of the females in the labor market (Simon, 2005). Notably, the number of women holding college degrees increased up to 36% in 2010.. Additionally, the statistics of female athletes has been rising steadily from 2004 to 2010. In other words, there are more women graduating with bachelor’s degrees in fields that were traditionally dominated by males including mathematics and engineering.

Even despite the educational achievements, the issues of gender disparity continue to be a dominant problem facing the legislation. On the one hand, majority of women is completing college levels. On the other hand, the number of employed females is still below those of their male colleagues. Men also earn higher average annual salaries than women in most fields (Cooper et al., 2008). Furthermore, there are continuous challenges in women’s unequal pay, sexual harassment, sports scholarship and gender biases. Still, there are stereotyped vocational and cultural patterns that still exist. For example, females continue constituting the smaller percentage of high-skilled employees comparing to males in the fields of engineering and technologies (Cooper et al., 2008).

Conclusion

Title IX is intended to promoting significant equity for women in sports and educational environments. It has helped in demolition of many sexual stereotypes as seen during 1996 Olympics where an increased participation of female athletes was. In relation to education, many women can now join and complete postsecondary education and start a career journey. However, the program enforcement is faced with two controversial issues of athletics and sexual harassment. In corporate fields, the number of males significantly outweighs that of females. Men are likely to work on full-time basis and earn higher annual incomes than women. Females are also struggling with such obstacles as sexual favors and male-chauvinism while climbing the corporate ladder. Moreover, the scope of Title IX legislation was narrowed in Grove City College case. The court entered a judgement that those programs that were not receiving direct funding from the federal government were not covered by the provisions of Title IX. Furthermore, the universities are protected from forceful penalties for failing to implement sex equity. Therefore, women groups and organizations that advocate for equitable education should monitor laws and policies and struggle for equality where government fails to press gender issues. The state must also be a target for pressure to change as it supports the social structure where males are dominant in society (Cooper et al., 2008). In essence, the state is an important means, by which patriarchal ideologies find legitimacy and support.

 

 

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