Sunday, September 02, 2012

After Title IX

Is Title IX necessary? Title IX is the law which more or less mandates equal rates of participation in athletics at schools receiving federal funds.

Would universities scrap their womens' teams and insist that the pursuit of athletics is appropriate for men only?

Would mens' wrestling return to many campuses and would we say goodbye to the womens' fencing team?

Or would things remain pretty much the same?

I guess the broader question for our society is to what extent do we see ourselves as unfair to women? 

My own guess is that we would see a modest increase in intercollegiate athletic opportunities for men and a modest decrease in those for women. This would not in my view reflect a bias against women by our universities but rather would reflect the reality that males tend to have a greater interest in sports than females, on average. 

And if Title IX remains necessary, what does it say about our bastions of liberalism (universities) that they must be coerced to treat women fairly?


GearHead said...

Title Nine, like any other government "fairness" program has taken on a life of its own. It justifies its existance by meddling in the most specious of arguments. It should be disbanded, and local control given back to the educational institutions.

I reject the entire premise that athletic offerings need to be fair. That is a question that market forces are much better equipped to determine. Go to the college that best meets your recreational needs. But wait a minute! isn't this supposed to be about education? Higher education wastes too much money already to have to comply with the ultimate playground cop enforcing womens' biathalon rights.

BradK said...

The recommendation to the Department of Education as of 2010 does in fact include "interest" as a factor in how the Title IX rule is implemented (measured based on surveys originally modeled by the DOE in '05).

IMHO, Title IX is one of the reasons women's soccer is so successful in the U.S. - because of Title IX, many institutions provided advanced levels of play for women that wouldn't have otherwise been there. I don't see D1 NCAA "big male sports" hurting much since 1972....

Denis Navratil said...

BradK, by no means am I suggesting that no good has come from Title IX. Rather, I think it is a mixed bag. It is I suspect partly true that Title IX may have helped with women's soccer. On the other hand, I think we used to do a lot better in mens wrestling in the olympics. Could Title IX be partly to blame? I suspect so.

BradK said...

There is data that suggests that the downturn in wrestling has more to do with funding football (or basketball to a lesser extent) than Title IX:

[NCAA Director of Gender Initiatives] Morrison shares another data point pertaining to college wrestling, often portrayed as the biggest victim of
Title IX. In 1984, the Supreme Court held in Grove City v. Bell that only institutions or programs receiving direct federal government financial assistance had to comply with Title IX, which "placed college athletics beyond the reach of Title IX because athletic departments hardly ever received federal financial funds," writes Vermont Law School professor Brian L. Porto in his book "A New Season: Using Title IX to Reform College Sports."

The decision was rendered moot in 1988 when Congress overrode President Ronald Reagan's veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act, which forced any institution receiving federal funds to comply with Title IX throughout the entire institution.

"During that four-year span when Title IX was not in effect for athletic departments, NCAA schools still dropped 53 wrestling programs, an average of 13.2 a year. From 1988 to 2000, when the law again covered sports, wrestling cuts slowed dramatically, with 56 programs dropped during that 12-year period, an average of
4.7 a year."

Overall, that article puts a lot of data points and whatnot out there to support the arguments and sunset the "myths".

I'm not sure the NCAA has a vested interest in preserving women's sports per se, but rather maximizing their revenue.. (oh wait, I mean developing student athletes while signing multi-year, multi-billion-dollar TV deals...)

BradK said...

Not sure why it ignored my citation

HERE is the source.