Gender equality has some effects on college sports and this led to implementation of Title IX in 1972 as a potential solution to conflict on gender inequality. Title IX was implemented in schools and it enforced that all men and women should have equal opportunities under all educational programs.
Title IX states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal assistance” (Thornton, 2011, p. 509). After the implementation, it offered a practical decision in generating equity within educational institutions.
Title IX covers several issues including college admissions, scholarships, health, and programs. Currently, Title IX has created more debates concerning its functions and effects on college athletes. Several people consider it as a law of proportionality that causes negative effects on male gender.
Women inequality in college sports may be classified into respect and money factors. In colleges, women receive less payment even if women they are similarly athletic matched up to men. Considering that both female teams in colleges and professional sports experienced inequality this has caused Congress to implement Title IX.
The function of Title IX is to guarantee gender equality in college sports and it has supported the development of female sports. Federal government used Title IX as an approach to address gender discrimination in school sports since women and their talents have been discriminated all over the years (Bank, 2011, p. 390).
However, in line with some studies, there is likelihood for the professional female athletes to draw level or even exceed professional males.
Effects on College Sports
Title IX is giving new opportunities to female athletes in schools. When it was passed in 1972 women received only seven percent of all law degrees, but by 1997 the figure had increased to 45 percent. More women are able to be admitted to universities or colleges through athletic and academic scholarships, admission of women in medical degrees have increased by 32 percent since 1972 (Stevenson, 2007).
Before implementation of Title IX, just one in 28 girls participated in college sports, but currently the ratio has improved to one in three. Currently, a total of three million females are participating in high school sports with the expectations of receiving a scholarship to Universities.
Athletic scholarships were almost non-existent before it was implemented in 1972, but above 15,000 athletic scholarships are now given to female athletes to participate in college sports annually (Bank, 2011, p. 390).
Due to Title IX, women are receiving more respect on professional competitions and the number of men participating is being reduced radically. This even forced University of California Los Angeles to remove men’s swimming team in 1994 to follow Title IX and allow more women to participate in sports (Stevenson, 2007).
Title IX was at first intended as a law to address gender discrimination in sports, but today it is considered as a law of proportionality.
Currently, regardless of these progresses, inequalities in college sports exist and restrict opportunities of women in school sports. Although there is Title IX’s achievement in creating more opportunities for girls and women, inequality are experienced both in professional and college sports.
For instance, even though women in Division I colleges are 54 percent of the students, they are provided with 40% of the opportunities to participate in school sports, allocated 35 percent of the sport budgets, and allocated 31 percent of the money used for admission of new athletes. It has been approximated that men are allocated around $130 million more than women annually in athletic scholarships (Thornton, 2011, p. 509).
Title IX has brought about reduction in opportunities for men athletes and has been responsible to reduce in athletic scholarships and programs. Since 1972, inopportune reductions of men’s team have been experienced, but followers of Title IX argued the reductions have been balanced by the number of men participating in other sports.
Gender equality has been experienced mostly in college sports and many people consider that this issue may be experienced for long. Title IX currently being misunderstood as a law of proportionality and has huge harm to men than the way it is advantageous to women. Title IX is considered to solve the issue of gender inequality, but leads to male injustice.
Title IX states evidently that it is designed to address inequality, but currently applied as a mechanism to achieve an “unjust” benefit for women. Title IX was implemented to provide women similar chances in college sports, but currently restricting the opportunities which were formerly accessible for male athletes (Stevenson, 2007).
Provided that the original goal of Title IX is not misrepresented, there will be similar opportunities for both boys and girls in college sports. As a result, the gender conflicts in college and professional sports are controversial issues.
Some people consider it as conflict of equality, others consider it as conflict of proportionality, or perhaps it is only some women attempting to refute the existing saying “women cannot do what men can.”
Bank, B. (2011). Gender and Higher Education. New York: JHU Press.
Stevenson, B. (2007). Title IX and the Evolution of High School Sports. Contemporary Economic Policy , 25(4): 486-506.
Thornton, P. (2011). Sports Law. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.