April 30, 2010
Thesis Proposal: Title IX and College Sports
Throughout history, according to the laws of almost every country, males have been the dominate sex. In almost every sector of life, the law has granted men more rights and privileges, whether it be property rights or the right to vote. However, in the United States, ever since women’s suffrage, all women’s rights have been increasing steadily. One privilege that men have had in the past, active and supported participation in intercollegiate sports, has also been opened up to women through Title IX, part of an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Although Title IX does not solely target sports, its effect on college sports across the United States reaches far beyond what policymakers and others involved in its inception anticipated, in both positive and negative ways.
Title IX has affected participation of women in college sports significantly. In 1972, only 15% of those competing in intercollegiate sports were women, which is even almost double from 1967. By 2003, that percentage had increased by 26%, to 31% (Grant et al, 2008, p. 413). Before Title IX, in 1968, there were about 16,000 female athletes participating in college sports, but as of 2004, there were over 150,000 female athletes playing on 8402 teams (Grant et al, 2008, p. 413). However, because the amendment calls for “proportionality in participation opportunities (Grant, 2008, p. 402),” critics claim that it has caused universities to reduce or cut men’s sports. According to these critics, if a university adds more to the budget of one men’s sport, but cannot afford to add money to a women’s, they may cut back or completely eliminate some men’s programs in order to continue compliance with Title IX.
The ramifications of Title IX continue to affect athletic programs and students today. Due to the downturn in the economy, paying for college is becoming even harder for many students. At the same time,...