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IX Before & After
Title IX was passed
by the U.S. Congress on June 23, 1972, and signed by President Richard
M. Nixon on July 1, 1972. It is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination
in education programs and activities receiving federal funds. It was the
first comprehensive federal law to prohibit sex discrimination against
students and employees in these institutions.
While the link between
Title IX and increased opportunities for women and girls in athletics
is well known, the connection between this law and improvements in key
areas such as access to higher education, career education, employment,
learning environment, math and science, sexual harassment, standardized
testing, and treatment of pregnant and parenting teens is not often noted.
(Source: Report Card
on Gender Equity, National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education,
- Many schools and
universities had separate entrances for male and female students.
- Female students
were not allowed to take certain courses, such as auto mechanics or
criminal justice; male students could not take home economics.
- Most medical
and law schools limited the number of women admitted to 15 or fewer
- Many colleges
and universities required women to have higher test scores and better
grades than male applicants to gain admission.
- Women living
on campus were not allowed to stay out past midnight.
- Women faculty
members were excluded from faculty clubs and encouraged to join faculty
wives' clubs instead.
- After winning
two gold medals in the 1964 Olympics, swimmer Donna de Varona could
not obtain a college swimming scholarship. For women they did not exist.
(Source: Title IX:
25 Years of Progress, U.S. Department of Education, 1997)
- In 1973, 43%
of female high school graduates were enrolled in college. This grew
to 63% in 1994.
- In 1971, 18%
of young women and 26% of young men had completed four years or more
of college; in 1994, 27% of both men and women had earned bachelor's
- In 1972, women
received 9% of medical degrees but by 1994 that number had moved up
to 38%; 1% of dental degrees grew to 38% in 1994; and the percentage
of law degrees earned by women had moved from 7% in 1971 to 43% in 1994.
- Today, more than
100,000 women participate in intercollegiate athletics, a four-fold
increase from 1971. That same year 300,000 women (7.5%) were high school
athletes; in 1996, that figure had increased to 2.4 million (39%).
- Title IX prohibits
schools from suspending, expelling or discriminating against pregnant
high school students in educational programs and activities. From 1980
to 1990, dropout rates for pregnant students declined 30%, increasing
the chances the mothers will be able to support and care for their children.
- 80% of female
managers of Fortune 500 companies have a sports background.
- High school girls
who participate in team sports are less likely to drop out of school,
smoke, drink, or become pregnant.