Title Ix and Women’s Role in Sports

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For centuries, women have been fighting for equal rights in numerous social arenas for as long as they have existed. From the right to vote, to Roe vs. Wade, women have been fighting for centuries for equal rights. While there is still a long way to go, many significant strides have been made in this ongoing battle. One of the great achievements of the women’s movement was the enactment of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 is the landmark legislation that bans sex discrimination in schools, whether it is in academics or athletics. It states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance" (Storm 320).

Before Title IX, few opportunities existed for female athletes. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which was created in 1906 to format and enforce rules in men’s football but had become the ruling body of college athletics, offered no athletic scholarships for women and held no championships for women’s teams. Furthermore, facilities, supplies and funding were lacking. As a result, in 1972 there were just 30,000 women participating in NCAA sports, as opposed to 170,000 men (Simon 92).
Title IX applies to educational institutions that receive any federal funds and prohibits discrimination in all educational programs and activities. Athletic programs are considered educational programs and activities. Title IX gives women athletes the right to equal opportunity in sports in educational institutions that receive federal funds, from elementary schools to colleges and universities (Poertner 92). There are three parts to Title IX as it applies to athletics programs: (1) effective accommodation of student…...

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