December 20 2010
The Struggle for Title IX Reform
This weekend, John Stossel aired his prime time special, "Top 10 Politicians' Promises Gone Wrong," in which he also takes a closer look at the unintended consequences of Title IX.
Stossel emphasizes the role of cultural changes in increasing women's equality in college sports, not government legislation. Title IX was instituted at a time where American culture was already undergoing far-reaching changes in the roles which women and men played. Old stereotypes defining men as breadwinners and women as housekeepers began to shift, and today women earn more higher education degrees than men do. Nevertheless, Title IX which may have helped accelerate women's equality in educational institutions when it was passed in 1972, today undermines equal opportunity by shutting down successful athletic programs for men in order to meet an artificial quota.
You can watch the title IX section of the program here:
The Independent Women's Forum has been a fierce supporter of Title IX reform for many years. Rather than promoting women's equality, Title IX legitimizes discrimination against male athletes. Women and men should have equal opportunities, albeit those will not necessarily lead to equal outcomes. By demanding that schools' athletic programs reflect the gender proportions of the institution, cutting men's programs when a school is unable to recruit more women to play sports, is unfortunately the easiest way to comply with Title IX. With women making up ever larger percentages of college students, unreasonable Title IX enforcement will only worsen men's athletic opportunities.
In a past IWF position paper on Title IX and Athletics, IWF fellow Allison Kasic and former director of gender equity and Title IX projects at IWF, Kimberly Schuld make the case for using the Model Survey to measure student interest. After all, it's difficult to know who wants to play what sports in an educational institution if no one asks. In April of this year, Kasic reported on the unfortunate decision by the Department of Education to rescind...
... the Bush Administration's guidance on interest surveys [specifically the Model Survey] and effectively silencing the voices of student athletes in the process.
The struggle for Title IX reform continues.