Title IX Women lacked choices of playing sports before Title IX. Females in the American society before Title IX lived completely different lives then they do today. They could not play on everyday school teams, or participate in sports, like soccer, basketball, or even cross country. Women were stuck with smaller sports such as tennis or more typical feminine choices, which inhibited any interaction with female athletics and school. Title IX gave them that, granted women the freedom of choice, and revolutionized women’s rights.
While Title IX provided American women with the opportunities they have today, it also needs some adjusting to stimulate its equality among both genders. Title IX laid the future foundations for women’s athletics in American history. Women needed a push to allow them to have the equal treatment they deserve under the constitution. Title IX states, “The Purpose of Title IX is to make discrimination based on gender in education and athletics unlawful.
It does not prevent schools from abandoning the educational mission of athletics, and cannot stop schools from deciding to drop a men’s team or, indeed, its entire athletic department” (Hogshead-Makar 64-66). This created the opportunity called choice, and started a fight for equal opportunities in every area of athletics and education. At first the idea of equal rights was rejected among much of society, so the government stepped in to help enforce the rules. The government punished schools by not offering them as much scholarship money if they didn’t comply.
As decreed, “Prohibition against discrimination; No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, any activity receiving federal financial assistance” (Title IX, Education Amendments 2). Every college from then on was paid a federal bonus for balancing out their athletic teams. Title IX influenced female athletics in many ways, but it also handled anything to do with the balance of equality for women in schools. Title IX viewed education highly on the list of equality. Furthermore, “Title IX itself says nothing about athletics.
It simply prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs” (Torr 1). Anything that could be viewed as unfair to women’s rights in schools was effected in the course of Title IX. With its many ideas put into play, Title IX helped create opportunities for American women. Title IX created a new standard for women that had not been seen in America before. The colleges overlooked female based sports to find better male athletes. As noted: “Before Title IX only a handful of women got scholarships. Much less is spent on women’s operating expenses” (Nauen 3).
Everyone noticed male athletes, while the female athletes played under a less supported spotlight. Women played sports in college, if they wanted to, but their incentives were not up to par. The idea of playing for nothing destroyed many hopes for women athletes. Therefore, “Girls and women had been playing organized sports in the United States for nearly a century, but their participation had always been controversial” (Bluementhal 53). Without the addition of money or scholarships female athletics did not stand up against that of the male gender.
Athletics withheld a negative effect towards women, in more ways than one, but a finer point would be the lacking facilities. The idea of lacking equipment encouraged other ideas of women’s working too. The problem from The lack of teams, facilities and encouragement went hand in hand with narrower opportunities in other areas; women became teachers and nurses, not principals and doctors. Without coaches or practice times and subject to being teased or hassled when they tried or even wanted to play sports, is it any wonder that so many girls did not see themselves as strong, vigorous, talented, capable beings? Nauen 1). People overlook how much facilities and equipment can affect the women’s work field. Before Title IX women lived much less choosy lifestyles; the law opened up opportunities never before seen in the American society Women’s athletics have been rapidly changing since the creation of a new set of laws. Title IX influenced the start of participation in athletics. The law, “Title IX is synonymous with expanded opportunities in athletics. Its success is evidenced by women’s and girls’ participation in sports” (Torr 1). It set a beginning point for women to start joining in on their own athletic competitions.
Resulting from Title IX’s laws, Women were introduced to the fresh idea of competitiveness. The raw numbers show how women reacted to the laws quite well. As stated: “Before Title IX, fewer than 30,000 females competed in intercollegiate athletics. Low participation rates reflected the lack of institutional commitment to providing athletics programming for women” (Torr 2). When more opportunities opened up for women, they joined their beloved sports immediately. Women finally started to acquire equal rights among men. The new laws have forever changed women.
Instead of being ignored, “everyone knew that girls could and should play. The only question left was how far their strength, skill and courage would take them” (Bluementhal 114). The focus was now shared among college athletes, between men and women. Times have changed, and people will always remember how Title IX granted women opportunities they have never had before. Title IX builds opportunities for women, but often neglects the negative effects it leaves on men. Some of the rules in Title IX require equality in gender sports, which can hurt sports by making them cut back.
The Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act states that all colleges submit an array of detailed information, on their sports programs, to keep track of the female to male ratio (Gavora 1). This act usually ends up hurting male sports all around; some sports just cannot be matched. The sports that have the most trouble being matched usually contain a lot of players. A lot of coach’s feel: “it should not harm others. If schools had to divide the football and basketball funds to support women’s sports as well, all of the programs would be damaged” (Bluementhal 72).
The disengagement caused by the equity acts created a whole new problem. Now colleges look for more scholarships for women and where to cut back on scholarships for men. So “They were looking for three things, they were looking for which sport had the number of participants to cut to bring them closer to proportionality, which sports had the scholarships they could transfer to the women’s side, and which sports had the operation budget they could save on” (Gavora 2). Colleges will furthermore look for more opportunities that women never had before Title IX.
Now the universities have a whole new set of problems involving dropping sports or athletes to make room for more female participants. The effects hurt a lot of people that have real stories on how Title IX desecrated their futures. The law was never put in place to hurt male athletes in the ways that it did, especially not to cut smaller sports from the schools. Stephen Neal watched as his coach, Kerr, was forced to cut “10 of the 27 male athletes. Five former wrestlers filed grievances with the school, alleging sex discrimination.
Then Kerr was told he could carry a total of only 34 wrestlers, forcing him to cut seven women” (Lynch 1). Many wrestling teams took major hits from the overbearing rules of Title IX. The laws also required colleges to take a three pronged test to show the federal government that they are obeying the equality laws. The most controversial test required colleges to make dues with 50% of the female graduates being involved with athletics, if not then they will not receive federal payments. Therefore “The test has been challenged as unfair by male football and wrestling coaches associations and male college athletics directors.
They have argued that the first prong of the test is an unfair quota system that constitutes improper affirmative action for females, and has led to existing men’s teams being eliminated” (Claussen 2). A team being cut takes people off of scholarships, which in no way helps anyone. The growth rates of sports also have been suppressed due to the law. Instead of an equal gender growth, women have destroyed men in statistics. They say, “for the 19 years represented, women’s programs increased across all NCAA divisions combined, by 1,658.
Men’s programs increased by 74. Thus, women’s programs grew at a rate of approximately 87 per year; men’s grew at a rate of less than four per year” (McBride. Et al. 1-2). Sometimes Title IX’s flaws are overlooked, if only people could read deeper into its meaning. The author of Title IX never intended to destroy any programs or statistically hurt men, it just happened. The impact Title IX left on American sports resonates through every university because of its effect on Women’s rights. The goal of American sports shifted away from an all-male perspective.
Now the “true goal of equal opportunity is a simple one: the hope that someday all boys and girls will have the chance to find out how good they can really be” (Bluementhal 124). Women can now compete in world athletics that have always been a major part of American history. Title IX focuses on college sports and how it can balance out between genders to make sports more of a shared passion, instead of the old logic that America followed. The starting era of Title IX went down without people realizing what they had started. “Women’s sports teams created in the 1970s and 1980s were deemed irrelevant to a history and ‘CONTINUING PRACTICE’ of expanded gender opportunity” (Tell 2). Little did the Titles authors know they created a document that would revolutionize the ideas of gender equity. The colleges recognize this document for many reasons; it is remembered for more than just the equality it brings but also forces colleges to fix teams up for Title IX preparation. The NCAA specifically had to build up larger female teams to help fix the ratio: “To boost their varsity female totals, a fair number of them, with the NCAA’s connivance, have begun conferring full ‘team’ status on exotic hobbies or outright trivia” (Tell 2).
The founder of Title IX evaluated it to help build support for girls, but people ignored his plea, and the ruling stated that equality is everything. Title IX, whether argued as a crutch for advancement in sports, or a helpful document of equality, changed America’s sports history. The resounding effects of Title IX exposed America to a new kind of equality that could come back to hurt male sports. From the beginnings of the United States, men neglected women and their rights as a person, and in reaction many movements eventually rose to achieve rights for women.
Title IX started one of the biggest movements for women’s rights. Equality has been achieved through this single document. The effect of balancing sports gave women the final push to create gender equity. After this law, American women can now participate in the one thing that unites all nations, sports. Works Cited Blumenthal, Karen. Let Me Play: the Story of Title IX: The Law That Changed the Future Girls in America. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2005. Print. Claussen, Cathryn L. “Title IX Has Improved Sports Programs. ” Student Life (2007): 79-82. Web. October 2011. Gavora, Jessica. A Field of Nightmares. ” Women’s Quarterly. Spring 2002: 9-13. SIRS Issue Researcher. Web. 18 October 2011. Hogshead-Makar, Nancy. “The Ongoing Battle over Title IX. ” USA Today. July 2003: 64-66. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 18 October 2011. Lynch, Michael W. “Title IX’s Pyrrhic Victory. ” Reason. April 2001: 28-35. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 19 October 2011. McBride, Dennis K. et al. Women’s Athletics and the Elimination of Men’s Sports Programs: A Reevaluation. Cato Journal. Fall 2000. Web. 20 October 2011. <http://www. wku. edu/~dennis. wilson/sports/titleix. pdf > Nauen, Elinor. A Sporting Chance: Title IX and the Seismic Shift in Women’s Sports. ” America. October 2008: 15+. Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 20 October 2011. Tell, David. “The Myth of Title IX. ” Weekly Standard. 26 July 1999: 24-26. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 21 October 2011. Torr, James D. “Title IX is Necessary to Reduce Sexual Discrimination in Sports. ” Sports and Athletes (2005): no. pag. Gale Opposing Viewpoints. Web. 19 October 2011. Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972. July 2001. Title 20 U. S. C. Sections 1681-1688. Web. 18 October 2011. http://www. dol. gov/oasam/regs/statutes/titleix. htm