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No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational programs or activity receiving federal financial assistance. — From the preamble to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Title IX, as a landmark civil rights law, profoundly affects all aspects of education by requiring equal opportunity for females and males.
Since its passage in 1972, Title IX has had a profound impact on helping to change attitudes, assumptions and behavior and consequently, our understanding about how sexual stereotypes can limit educational opportunities. We now know, for example, that gender is a poor predictor of one's interests, proficiency in academic subjects, or athletic ability. As the First Circuit Court of Appeals noted in a recent Title IX case, "interest and ability rarely develop in a vacuum; they evolve as a function of opportunity and experience."
Everyone Benefits from Title IX
Title IX prohibits institutions that receive federal funding from practicing gender discrimination in educational programs or activities. Because almost all schools receive federal funds, Title IX applies to nearly everyone. The Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education is charged with enforcing the civil rights and regulations in education, extending protection to
about 14.4 million college and university students;
more than 3,600 colleges and universities;
more than 5,000 proprietary schools; and
thousands of libraries, museums, vocational rehabilitation agencies, and correctional facilities.
When Title IX is mentioned, most people think about women and athletics. However, Title IX is about so much more; it also covers acts including sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, dating and intimate partner violence (dating and domestic violence), that can impact educational opportunities for all.
Watch a video from the White House on the 40th anniversary of Title IX.