Friday — June 24, 2022
50 Years of Title IX
by: Cesar J Segura
Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, possibly one of the most important pieces of legislation for gender equality. Originally titled "Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972" (commonly referred to as Title 9), this law was enacted on June 23, 1972. Title IX protects against sex-based discrimination toward students and/or employees in institutions that receive federal funding. This includes but is not limited to public and private schools and universities. Initially, Title IX was enacted to balance inequities within collegiate and high school athletics for women. Pre-Title IX, women's athletics was very limited in the number of sports teams available and the amount of funding that these teams received compared to those of the men's teams. Due to Supreme Court decisions and guidance from the Department of Education, Title IX has broadened its scope to protect persons from sexual harassment and sexual violence.
Expansions to Title IX requires institutions to respond to survivors' needs to ensure that students have equal access to education regardless of their gender or gender identity. Currently, institutions have officers who are dedicated to Title IX. Those officers are tasked with ensuring their institution's compliance with the law. However, protections are in place should individuals feel their Title IX complaints are not being thoroughly investigated. The federal government has tasked the US Office of Civil Rights with ensuring the enforcement of Title IX among institutions and as the party responsible for Title IX complaints against institutions.
Currently, upon the 50th anniversary of this landmark legislation, the Biden Administration has proposed additional regulations for the protection of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. In the wake of the recent overturn of Roe v. Wade, President Biden seeks to work with lawmakers to solidify protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. As with many laws, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a living article, with much change coming within the past 50 years of its existence. Lawmakers, students, and individuals can work together to continue to strengthen Title IX protections to ensure the safety of individuals everywhere, regardless of sex, gender identity, and gender expression. If you seek to learn more regarding what protections Title IX offers, please view the below resources. Additionally, if you are a current student (or parent), ensure you are familiar with your institution's Title IX Officer (or office).