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Title Ix Paper

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As Title IX approaches its 40th anniversary, its policies and impacts on both men’s and women’s sports is still greatly debated and argued. While it is proven fact that it was tremendously successful at providing women far greater opportunities both in sports and outside of sports, the topic of how it is negatively affecting men’s sport is often debated. The five articles that I gathered advocate for Title IX. They express its positive impacts through narrative accounts and personal experiences of well-known female athletes who prospered due to Title IX not just in sports, but in their educational and professional careers. They also disprove the myths commonly associated with Title IX that lack evidence about how it is responsible for negatively affecting men’s sport opportunities and potentially ruining the programs currently in existence.
Title IX is generally associated with women’s opportunity in sports to the point where its other positive implications tend to be forgotten. Title IX isn’t just about providing an opportunity for women to participate in sports in high school and at the college level, it is about providing young women the skills needed to achieve greater successes later on in life. Pugmire’s (2013) article quotes Women’s basketball legend Anne Meyers Drysdale saying the following:
“According to the Women's Sports Foundation, 80% of women in Fortune 500 companies played sports. It teaches you so much -- confidence, failure, success, courage, how to get along. That's the business world. That's life. It's important for us to be continuing those lessons as long as we can”.
He focuses his article around one of the great female athletes of the Title IX era to exemplify the positive outcomes of Title IX in order to advocate for the laws existence, why it should and why it has been around for the last 40 years. Pugmire (2013) also goes on to quote Drysdale saying: “We didn't have enough money for me to ever attend UCLA, but because of Title IX, I got an education at UCLA”. So while Drysdale decided to continue her career in athletics, these scholarship opportunities provide many women the chance to attend top tier schools and receive a high quality education as well as broaden their future career possibilities outside of sports.
The progression of women’s equality and opportunity in sports is only part of the battle to overcome the inequities they still face in society. According to Brown (2012), while Title IX has completely reshaped the way women are able to participate in society there is still progress to be made. Now that the opportunities are there, we as a society need to continue to make progress and work towards overcoming the issues of women’s inequalities in this country’s overall social, economic and political schemes. Cynthia G. Brown, like many others in support of Title IX’s purpose, agree that while the progress for women’s sports made so far is important for equal rights amongst women, more needs to be done. As stated by Schulte (2013):
The Women’s Sports Foundation noted that Girls make up 50 percent of high school enrollments, and have 41 percent of the spots on sports teams. Women in college have 60,000 fewer sports participation opportunities and received $176 million less in scholarships in 2010-2011. Women sports also make up 8 percent of all television and print sports coverage, just ahead of horses, dogs and fishing.
Of these four statistics listed, the amounts rewarded for scholarships are the foundation for granting the opportunities to young women. Making the sports program available is only half of the solution. If these young women can’t afford to pay for tuition at the schools where these programs have been made available then the point of their implementation is then useless. These articles aren’t just targeted towards making all the sports that are available to men available to women, they focus on the solution needing to be multifaceted. Women athletes rely on scholarships just as much as male athletes. In order for women to have equal opportunities in sports, schools not only need to make the athletic programs available to women but they also need to allocate equal scholarship funding to provide the same amount of personal monetary support to women athletes as male athletes.
In regard to equality in women’s funding versus men’s, this is where the controversy over Title IX’s policies is the most present. There are two examples of myths that are negatively associated with Title IX that these articles touch upon. The first being that, by adding women’s sports you are subsequently cutting nonrevenue men’s sports. While the second pertains to the general accusation during the laws proposal that Title IX would ruin sport as we know it to the point that some even compared it to communism.
It is not uncommon in the least for people to promote the myth of Title IX funding women’s sports at the cost of cutting non-revenue men’s sports to justify why it shouldn’t exist. Schulte (2013), Brown (2012) and Erskine (2012) argue that instead of just blaming Title IX for the lack of funding to men’s minor sports, the gross spending on Division I football and basketball programs needs to be considered. According to Schulte (2013):
A statement made by The National Council for Women and Girls in Education, in their Title IX report, argue that “Instead of allocating resources among a variety of sports, many college administrators are choosing to take part in the basketball and football “arms race” at the expense of other athletic programs. In Division I-FBS (formerly Division I-A), for example, basketball and football consume 80% of total men’s athletic expenses. Average expenditures on football alone in this division ($12+ million) exceed average expenditures on all women’s sports ($8+ million).
As a result of the refusal to allocate the men’s spending budget away from basketball and football, these articles make the argument that cuts must then be taken from the minor sports within the men’s overall sports budget. This is the point where the blame on Title IX comes into play. To summarize the quote by Christine Brennan in the article by Brown (2013); spending should be split between men and women equally, football players are not an exception to gender so the decision to spend copious amounts of money on these programs should rightfully come out of the men’s fund. As mentioned earlier this causes grounds for blame to be placed on Title IX which Brown (2013) goes to say, “It is to Title IX’s credit that fair play is enforced”.
The other myth as previously mentioned, was that the law would seriously weaken the programs currently in existence (Erskine, 2012). Just as Erskine also mentions, 40 years after the bill was passed, sports in America have thrived. While the number of men’s sports programs and male athletes are still greater, compared to the numbers before Title IX came into effect, women’s sport has never been more prosperous. Erskine uses the argument that just like the integration of African Americans into popular sports back in the early 1900’s, everyone thought their participation would ruin the game when in fact it did the exact opposite. Especially with men and women not even competing in the same sports for the most part. There is nothing that would cause the quality of men’s sports to decrease just because women’s sport is also increasing.
Barbara Winslow takes a slightly different route than the other authors and talks about the discrimination, prejudice and ridicule women faced who played sports back in the 1900’s. Physical activity was seen as masculine, therefore any woman who played was depicted as unattractive and told they were damaging their reproductive organs. Despite these claims women played on in the sports they loved. As the 1960s approached the debate for gender equality started becoming more popular. Just like the other authors Winslow talks about the backlash the women’s movement faced. People were worried about how it would have a negative impact on sports and society in the future. 40 years later, she and many others are able to present the numbers and prove that because of Title IX, women’s participation in sports has exploded in addition to participation and popularity amongst men’s sport also increasing. Thus making her point that for the past 40 years, people will make assumptions without evidence. That something they disagree with will only have a negative impact. In reality the numbers show the opposite, just like the first arguments against women playing sports and how it would damage them internally, facts don’t lie and women’s sports can only benefit women and society.
Of the five articles that were collected all of them portrayed the positives of Title IX in different ways. Many used cold hard facts and statistics to show that what Title IX is doing is helping sports in America. People tend to blame Title IX for cuts in men’s sports but a few of these authors argue that instead of blaming title IX we should take a look at where the majority of the money is going. In other words, the large scale football and basketball programs. If schools want to use the majority of the funding for men’s sports on these programs then they believe it shouldn’t come at the cost of women’s sports. Others also used the accounts of various successful female athletes that have Title IX to thank for their opportunities. However, almost all can agree that Title IX isn’t just about allowing women to play sports, it is about giving them the chance to excel in their professional lives and not be held back by the status quo.
Resources/Bibliography:
* Schulte, Brigid (2013, June, 27). Does Title IX equality for females come at males’ expense?. retrieved October 24 2013, from The Washington Post Web Site: http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-06-27/local/40233086_1_college-sports-title-ix-sports-programs

* Brown, Cynthia G. (2012, June, 27). 40 Years After Title IX, Men Still Get Better Sports Opportunities. retrieved October 24 2013, from U.S. News Web Site: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2012/06/27/40-years-after-title-ix-men-still-get-better-sports-opportunities?page=2

* Erskine, Chris (2012, Spetember, 03). n Title IX has benefited anyone who loves sports. retrieved October 24 2013, from Los Angeles Times Web Site: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/sep/03/sports/la-sp-erskine-20120904

* Pugmire, Lance (2012, June, 25). She should have her name above the Title. retrieved October 24 2013, from Los Angeles Times Web Site: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/25/sports/la-sp-pugmire-qa-20120625

* Winslow, Barbara The Impact of Title IX. (n.d) retrieved October 24 2013, from The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Web Site: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/seventies/essays/impact-title-ix

Note: For the last reference, in order to be able to read the article without being forced to make an account, just go to the actual Gilder Lehrman website and search “Title IX” the article/essay I used should be the fourth one down.

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