Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act (IX)

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (United States) is a 37-word law that states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Title IX, as it is commonly known, was enacted on June 23, 1972. Although the most prominent "public face" of Title IX is its impact on high school and collegiate athletics, the legislation actually covers all academic activities, and complaints under Title IX alleging discrimination in fields such as science or math education, or in other aspects of academic life such as access to health care and dormitory facilities, are not unheard of.

The American Association of University Women implies that while the ideas behind Title IX were fundamentally sound, the U.S. government did not effectively institute this amendment. Enforcement was driven by complaints, whistleblowers were not protected from consequences at their job sites, and too many schools who did not meet the guidelines slipped through the cracks.

Title IX has recently created controversy, with some groups claiming that it has caused some schools to spend less money on men's sports programs such as wrestling and swimming, or, in some cases, to end some traditional male sports programs all together. On the other hand, supporters of Title IX point to statistics (from a GAO study) which indicate that male collegiate sport participation has actually increased since the inception of Title IX, and that so-called "non-revenue" sports were being eliminated frequently even before Title IX.

Nonetheless, Title IX has been instrumental in the development of women's sports and it can be said that it helped the public prepare for today's women's professional sports such as the Women's National Basketball Association and Women's United Soccer Association. A few non-college sports leagues have opened competition to men and women in the same events, such as equestrian competitions, auto racing, sailing, a few golf tournaments, and inline skating under the so-called "Fabiola rule", named for Fabiola da Silva.

The law was renamed as the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act on October 29, 2002, upon the death of the law's author, Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink.

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