Sports is a powerful force in today’ssociety.  People of all ages, both maleand female watch and participate in various different sports, with participationnumbers increasing. It would seem typical and fair that participation in any sportone would choose, without the fear of being discriminated based on gender,would be acceptable and encouraged. However, it took until 1972 for Congress topass the Education Amendments of 1972, which included Title IX. Title IX wascreated in an attempt to eliminate discrimination against women at anyinstitution or organization that receives funds from the Federal government.

Sinceits introduction in 1972, Title IX has increased the opportunities for women tohave the ability to partake in college sports programs while having a minimalimpact on men’s sports programs. Title IX states that “Noperson in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded fromparticipation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discriminationunder any educational program or activity receiving Federal financialassistance.” (Title 20 U.S.C.).  This law requires that allactivities colleges and universities offer, must be offered without regard tothe gender of the potential participant.

It is fair to suggest that sport havelong been dominated by men. Historically men have had a higher interest insports compared to females and there is plenty of data of to support this.According to the International Olympic Committee, during the 2014 WinterOlympic Games, 59.7% of the participants were male compared to the 40.3% offemales. The International Olympic Committee Executive Board is made up of73.3% of males and 26.

7% of females. The International Federation ExecutiveBoard is made up of  staggering 86% ofmales members and only 14% women. The Centers for Disease Control andPrevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health InterviewStudy reports that 48.

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4% of 18-24 year old males engage in the recommendedamounts of physical activity compared to 36.8% of females. The overall data,for all ages combined states that 35.7% of males and 30.4% of engage in the recommendedamounts. Since 1972 the number of female athletes at NCAA schools has increasedfrom less than 30,000 to over 193,000, however  women still have over 60,000 fewerparticipation opportunities than their male counterparts.

Despite the meteoricraise in participation and opportunities for females, there is still some wayto go before there is true equality. In order to test for equality andbe able to enforce Title IX, there was three tests created in a bid to measure compliance.The three tests are:    1. Ensuring that opportunities for men and women are substantiallyproportionate to enrollment by gender.  2.

  Offering sports that fully and effectively satisfies the interests andabilities of female students.  3. Showing a history and continuing practice of expanding the sportsprograms for women.  It is not mandated that schoolshave to meet all three tests, however according to the Education Department,they must meet at least one of the three.

These three tests are absolute key tothe success of Title IX and are what complaints and lawsuits are judged on.  The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta,Georgia, give an insight to the influence Title IX has had on women’ssports.  The United States won a total offorty-four gold medals, nineteen of which were won by female athletes. Female OlympicAthletes such as Amy Van Dyken (Born 1972, swimmer, total of 20 Olympic medals),Lisa Leslie (Born 1972, Basketball, total of 8 Olympic medals), and legendaryUS Women’s soccer National Team player Mia Hamm (Born 1972, soccer, total of 7Olympic medals, two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion) have all directly benefitedfrom Title IX. The opportunities that would have been available for them to getinvolved in their chosen sport was much greater than if they were born a generationearlier. This suggests that thanks to Title IX, they were given the chance tocontinue to develop their talents which helped mold them into incredible athletes.The success of Title IX can also bemeasured by the increased number of sports programs available for femaleathletes across the country. According to data from the National Federation ofState High School Associations, between 1972 and 2011, the number of girlscompeting in high school sports increased from under 295,000 to nearly 3.

2million. And it is not only at the high school level more females are participatingin sports. According to NCAA Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report,Student-Athlete Participation – 1981-82 — 2010-11, the number of femaleathletes at NCAA schools has increased from less than 30,000 to over 193,000since 1972.Despite the increase in female participationCritics of Title IX contend that the law is fundamentally unfair and isdamaging men’s sports.

  The basis of thiscomplaint is the first test of compliance with Title IX.  Colleges and universityies meet this test by”ensuring that opportunities for men and women are substantiallyproportionate to enrollment by gender.” (Seattle Times).  This is called the proportionalityrequirement.  Is it fair to determine thenumber of athletic opportunities by enrollment of each gender?  Do men and women have the same interest anddesire to participate in sports during college? Many critics say no and according to current statistics they areright.  Male high school studentsparticipate in organized athletics at the rate of 1 in 2, while female highschool students participate at the rate of 1 in 3.  This suggest that a higher percentage of menthan women desire to participate in sports. As one commentator put it “Men are more likely to be interested inplaying sports than women, they say, and depriving men of opportunities just tomeet proportitonality guidelines is, on it’s face, discriminatory.

”     In the landmark case involvingTitle IX Brown University was found to not be in compliance with theproportionality test.  Brown had an equalnumber of athletic programs for women and men, but had more male athletes.  Judge Pettine ruled in favor of womenathletes because there were more male athletes than female athletes.  Brown University argued that “men andwomen have different levels of athletic interest, so schools cannot hope tohave as many female athletes as males.” (Baker)  They were joined by several nationaleducational groups in filing briefs against the ruling.

  “‘Judge Pettine’s ruling, if it stands,would force Brown to limit the number of opportunities for male athletes tocompete because existing opportunities for women are going unfilled,’ Brownexecutive vice president Robert Reichley said. ‘That’s a quota system; we don’t believe that’s what congressintended.'” (The Associated Press). The judge in his ruling gave three alternatives for Brown to correct theproblem.  He said, “It may eliminatethe athletic program altogether, it may elevate or create the requisite numberof women’s positions, it may demote or eliminate the requisite number of men’spositions or it may implement a combination of these remedies” (Baker).

    This ruling has had the effect of requiringcolleges to limit or reduce the number of athletic opportunities for men, andthis is why Title IX is under fire by it’s critics.  Even critics of Title IX concede that thepurpose and intent of the law is worthy, “‘I think almost everybody inhigher education believes the goal of Title IX is worthy,’ says James C.Garland, Miami’s president.  ‘Thecontroversy is whether the end justifies the means, and that’s the battlegroundwhere this is being fought.

‘” (Suggs).    Proportionality has also led totalk of quotas.  The Education Departmentstated that to be in compliance with Title IX, you only needed to meet one ofthe three tests.  In Brown the courtlooked at proportionality as the deciding factor, even though Brown had one ofthe most equal sports programs in the country. This reliance on proportionality sets a quota for the number of womenathletes required, or for the maximum number of male athletes permited for theschool to be in compliance with the law. If the level of interest in sports was equal between men and women thiswould not be a problem.

  The critics ofTitle IX contend that this is not so, and that the level of interest isactually higher in men than in women. This line of reasoning supports the claim that Title IX is hurting men’ssports.  If this is the case, then theproportionality test is preventing athletic departments across the country fromfinding the natural equilibrium between athletic opportunities for men andwomen.     Another issue that the critics ofTitle IX raise is the difference in the size of the different athleticprograms, specifically football.

 Football is the largest and the most profitable athletic program in theentire country, and it happens to be the domain of men.  Critics have stated that “If footballwere eliminated, every school would be in compliance (with TitleIX).”  Football programs often have139 players on the sidelines for home games. Compare that with one of the largest women’s athletic programs, crew,which consists of about 50 participants.

 This disparity in program size has led to the elimination of some men’sprograms by colleges seeking to meet proportionality requirements.  Critics of Title IX have asked for footballto be excluded from Title IX, but proponents of the law claim that if footballprograms weren’t wasteful, schools would not have to eliminate men’sprograms.  In return, critics of the lawpoint out that the average profit of a division I football program is over $3 million,and helps fund many of the other athletic programs that allow women toparticipate in athletics.  This disputeis not finished and will likely heat up in the future.    In the 27 years since Title IX wasenacted, it has helped countless women to participate in sports.  The number of college women’s sports programshas increased dramatically, as has the percentage of women who participate insports while in high school.

  Women insports get more recognition than ever before, yet few colleges are in totalcompliance with the law.  This may bebecause of money or it may be because many people believe the method ofdetermining compliance is wrong, but the fact that women have benefited fromTitle IX remains.  Yes, some men’s sportsprograms have been hurt or eliminated in attempts to comply with this law.  But men’s sports in whole is healthy and alive.

  Football and basketball will always be herebecause of the money they generate for the colleges.  It is the less glamorous and profitable men’ssports like wrestling, golf, and swimming that have suffered.  But this suffering is small compared to the overallstate of men’s sports and the dramatic increase in women’s sports.  Title IX has been a success so far byincreasing opportunities for female athletes to compete in collegeathletics.  This success has not beenhampered by the minimal damage to men’s sports, only time will tell if this remainsso.    Works Cited  Associated Press.

  “Title IX Policy Punishes Men, CriticsContend — Education Dept. Defends Its Enforcement.”  The Seattle Times.  May 10, 1995.  Associated Press.  “Colleges:  Supporters Join Brown University in it’sTitle IX Battle.

”  The NewsTribune>  June 27, 1995.  Baker, Frank.  The Associated Press.

  “Judge Rules for Women in LawsuitUniversity Must Provide More Sports Opportunities.”  Seattle Post Intelligencer.  March 30, 1995.

 Baker, Frank.  The Associated Press.  “Gender – Equity Debate Heating up onCampus Many Schools Must Cut Men’s Sports To Comply.”  Seattle Post Intelligencer.  March 31, 1995.  Boston Globe.

  “USA: The Impact of 25 Years of ‘Title IX’ on Women’s Sports.”  Women’s International Network News, Summer97,Vol. 23 Issue 3, p66.

  June 1, 1997.  Levin, Nancy.  “What is Title IX?”  Whole Earth.

 Summer98, Issue 93, p99.  Garcia, Kimberly.  “Playing in the Title IXgame.

”  Community College Week.  Dec. 14, 1998, Vol. 11 Issue 10, p6.  Monaghan, Peter.  “Dropping Men’s Teams to Comply withTitle IX.

”  The Chronicle of HigherEducation.  Washington; Dec. 4, 1998.  Naughton, Jim.  “Clarification of Title IX may leavemany colleges in violation over to athletes.”  The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Washington; July 31, 1998.  Sabo, Don.

  “Women’s athletics and the eliminationof men’s sports.”  Journal of Sport& Social Issues, Feb98, Vol. 22 Issue 1, p27.  St. George, Donna;  Knight-Ridder Newspapers.  “The story was glory, the Title wasIX.

  Law played role in women’s Olympicsuccess.”  The News Tribune.  August 7, 1996.  Suggs, Welch.  “Colleges consider fairness of cuttingmen’s teams to comply with Title IX.

” The Chronicle of Higher Education. Washington;  Feb. 19, 1999.  Title 20.  United States Code.

  Section 1681  Weistart, John.  “Title IX and Intercollegiatesports:  Equal opportunity?”  The Brookings Review.  Washington; Fall 1998.