The Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act was formerly known as
the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act. President George W. Bush
renamed this law on October 29, 2002 upon the death of the law's author, Patsy T. Mink.
It was instituted in 1972 and eventually expanded to prohibit gender discrimination in
any United States educational institution. Originally, it focused on equality in sports
opportunities and called for the increase of college scholarships of women to ensure
equality with male athletes.
The Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act has effected the world in many aspects. It has opened up many doors that had previously been bolted shut. In 1972, Congress passed the Educational Amendments. One section of this law, The Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, prohibits discrimination against girls and women in federally- funded education, including in athletics programs. (Nelson Burton, 1-5). This amendment was modeled on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination against race, color, and national- origin discrimination. The Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act states: NO person in the United States of America shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal Financial assistance. (Fulks, 14-16). The Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act has played a part in lowering the dropout rate among high school females. It has also helped reduce the number of female whom become pregnant. (Acosta, 95-96).
The Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act has helped increase the completion of post secondary, graduate and professional degrees. Women are now graduating from college in record numbers. For the first time in America's history, women's numbers are proportionate to those of men. By 1994, women were earning bachelor's degrees at the same rate as men, with both at twenty-seven percent. In 1971, prior to the change, only eighteen percent of women had completed four or more years of college compared to twenty-six percent of young men. In 2006, women are projected to earn fifty-five percent of all bachelors' degrees. (The Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act Manual).
Before the passage of The Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, athletic scholarships for college women were rare, no matter how great their talent. After wining two gold medals in the 1964 Olympics, swimmer Donna de Varona could not obtain a college swimming scholarship. Two years after The Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act was voted into law, an estimated 50,000 men were attending United States colleges and universities on athletic scholarships. Fewer than fifty women were on athletic scholarships. In 1973, the University of Miami Florida awarded the first athletic scholarships to women. This university awarded a total of fifteen scholarships in golf, swimming, diving and tennis. Today, college women receive about one third of all athletic scholarship dollars (Fulks, 37-40).
Achieving equal opportunity for women in intercollegiate sports has not been an easy task. Some colleges have faced budgetary restraints and others have simply been reluctant to change the status quo. No Federal Courts of Appeals have ruled against The Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act's athletic provisions. The immediate challenge for our nation's higher education community is to find positive ways to comply with the law (Nelson Burton, 110).
The Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act has helped girls and women participate in interscholastic and intercollegiate athletics in far greater numbers than they...