Title IX was legislated in 1972. The legislation stipulates that there should be no gender discrimination, encouraged or practiced, at any educational institution that receives federal funding. Over the years, Title IX has been hotly debated and it still remains to be controversial but even the opponents agree that the legislation is important and necessary. It is a quintessential piece of the many steps that have actually reduced gender discrimination in schools, colleges and universities.
Since time immemorial, gender discrimination has existed and has been a bane for mankind. In the twentieth century, gender discrimination was particularly obvious in sports and extracurricular activities at schools, universities and colleges. Although those institutions received federal funds, either some or for its entire budget requirements, still they made a distinction in sports, drama, arts and all kinds of disciplines or fields where gender bias can flourish.
Title IX was aimed at maintaining gender balance. Within its ambit lies athletics, drama, music and various other extracurricular activities. The legislation also makes discrimination based counseling, treatment to married or pregnant students and how institutions approach sexual harassment cases.
There are some Title IX pros and cons that have been debated and highlighted over the years. Some of them have lost their relevance as the legislation went into effect and started to show signs of impact. Today, the following are the Title IX pros and cons.
The Pros of Title IX
1. Boys and girls across the country have got a fine balance in opportunities. There are more activities for girls today than they were there in the last four or five decades. Boys too have lots of new opportunities that did not exist before. Both female and male students get their fair share of budgets allocated for special activities or extracurricular disciplines.
2. There are scholarship programs under the Title IX such as the college athletic scholarship. Such programs help female students to go to college, who otherwise would have skipped or dropped, either due to lack of funding or due to lack of choice.
3. It is believed that Title IX favors girls and lets the boys down. That is not true. The legislation helps boys and girls in equal measures. Since girls were let down earlier, the law may seem to help them because they have been doing noticeably better. Boys too get access to activities that they were not allowed to earlier. Ballet, figure skating, drama and many other disciplines were exclusive domains for girls. That has changed.
4. At the 2012 Olympics, the United States had more female athletes than males and the female athletes got more medals in various categories. The 2012 Olympics is often referred to as the Title IX Olympics. Anyone questioning the impact of the legislation on the ground should have reason enough from this event alone that the law has had its desired impact and has brought about the change that was envisioned.
5. The Title IX had surged the interest of students in sports and not just in one or three sporting categories but across the spectrum of athletics, team sports and performing arts. The legislation has managed to have consequences in what is being seen as much more far reaching than what it was originally envisaged.
The Cons of Title IX
1. There has been a debate pertaining to the financial burden on federal budgets allocated for education. The maintenance of a fine gender balance leads to conducting many more classes, having more infrastructures, more faculty members and there are recurring expenses to keep those activities, practices and performances up. All of that cost money and the budget on education has to bear the brunt. In many cases, when there is no increase in budget or special allocation for such increased activities, money from within the existing budget is spent on them. This has often been criticized since funds from budgets allocated for male sports in high school or college have often been diverted to fund female sports activities. This has led to misunderstandings in the past.
2. There has been an impact on coaching jobs. More males have become interested in coaching and fewer females are willing to teach boys or a blend of boys and girls. What was an exclusive female category job for female coaches can now be taken over by male coaches. Likewise, female coaches for male sports categories, isn’t really an option so that does cause an imbalance in another way.
3. Title IX has a flaw, that in budget allocation the females still get a minority share of forty percent or lower while they are the majority of the student population.
4. Premarital sex has certainly been on the rise ever since boys and girls have started participating in acts together. Being together, spending long hours at practice and afterward have encouraged partying and also intimate relationships as well as exploitation of sexuality. Unintended teenage pregnancies have also occurred in several cases.