Facing Its Biggest Hurdle Yet, Title IX Turns 50

Jun 23, 2022

Happy 50th, Title IX! We celebrate your landmark gender-equality achievement! Because of you, we’ve witnessed HUGE advances in women’s participation and equality in education and activity. Title IX said “bye-bye” to sex-based discrimination in schools that receive federal funding and “hello” to more opportunities for women in organized sports than ever before.

According to history.com, in 1972, there were just over 300,000 women and girls playing college and high school sports in the United States. Female athletes received only 2% of college athletic budgets, and athletic scholarships for women were virtually nonexistent. By 2012, the number of girls participating in high school sports nationwide had risen tenfold, to more than 3 million. More than 190,000 women were competing in intercollegiate sports—six times as many as in 1972. By 2016, one in every five girls in the United States played sports, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Fast-forward to 2022. Our nation faces the unraveling of Title IX’s achievements in sports by allowing biological males who consider themselves females to compete against “cisgender” females. The threat not only affects who stands on the winner’s podium, but if allowed to continue, biological males could even take away scholarship dollars, school athletic records and, perhaps most harmful, the morale of bonafide female athletes. This is an ironic and insidious assault on gender equality in sports that mirrors other government-recognized accommodations that morph into illogical public policies.

To prevent these outcomes, in December 2020, the "Protect Women in Sports" Act, sponsored by Representatives Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, and Markwayne Mullin, a Republican, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. It would block schools from receiving federal funding if “transgender” girls and “nonbinary” people are allowed to compete on girls' sports teams at those schools.

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