The New York Times recently reflected on Title IX’s 50 year legacy. Title IX was signed in 1972 and prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally funded schools and education programs. It has outlasted The Equal Rights Amendment and Roe v. Wade in protecting women’s rights.
Professor Deondra Rose argues that Title IX’s advantage was that it was vague, giving “the regulation a fighting chance over time.” This vagueness has allowed different administrations to evolve the provision to become more inclusive. For instance, The Education Department announced in 2021 that it would extend Title IX protections to transgender students. However, the vagueness has also allowed policymakers to enact laws or rules that restrict participation in girls’ sports divisions by transgender girls. “We’re seeing these policies and the necessity of moving beyond a very narrow definition of understanding of a policy like Title IX,” Rose said. “Some people are working to use Title IX to restrict and confine, and that’s out of step with the intention of the policy.”
The New York Times concludes that the law’s passage is a moment to celebrate, especially as women’s rights have become more restricted in light of the reversal of Roe v. Wade. However, Title IX still falls short in providing full equity as race and disabilities are not included in Title IX’s language.
Click here to read the full report.
Along with leading Polis, Professor Rose is an Associate Professor at the Sanford School, Co-director of the North Carolina Scholars Strategy Network, and author of Citizens by Degree: Higher Education Policy and the Changing Gender Dynamics of American Citizenship.