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US Response to Title IX Suit Raises Questions

In court filings yesterday, the Bush Administration asked a federal judge to dismiss a suit brought by wrestling coaches alleging that Title IX discriminates against men. The Administration’s argument, however, did not address the merits of the coaches’ claims, nor did it attempt to defend Title IX. Rather, it sought to have the suit dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.

The coaches claim that Title IX, as implemented by the Department of Education, creates a “quota” system that forces schools to limit the sports offered to male students in order to offer sufficient sports to female students. Title IX, however, does not require that schools limit their offerings for male students. The law, though, does require gender equity by ensuring that women have a chance to play sports.

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in education and is credited with opening sports to women. Prior to Title IX, approximately 30,000 female college students participated in sports; today the number is 157,000. In turn, the growth in the number of female college athletes has lead to professional women’s sports teams and leagues.

Sources:

Boston Globe 5/30/02; Feminist Majority Foundation