Title IX Continues To Leave Girls Behind In High School Sports

Even with the monumental advancements we’ve made in women’s equality, girls across the country still aren’t getting treated equally in school sports.

Half a century after Congress passed Title IX to guarantee equity in “any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,” including high school athletics, girls are still being let down by a system that favors boys.

Girls receive only 41 percent of all athletic participation opportunities in the U.S.
Girls receive only 41 percent of all athletic participation opportunities in the U.S.

Title IX requires high schools to provide girls with equal opportunities and services, but girls continue to receive only 41 percent of all athletic participation opportunities, 1.3 million fewer than male athletes, the National Women’s Law Center reports. In some cases, girls receive inferior coaching, equipment, facilities and scheduling, all potential violations of Title IX.

“We still estimate that the majority of schools are likely out of compliance with the law,” Sarah Axelson, vice president of advocacy at the Women’s Sports Foundation, told Capital News Service.

Title IX violations are typically not strongly enforced.
Title IX violations are typically not strongly enforced.

The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism and the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland conducted a four-month investigation into the application of Title IX across 23,882 public high schools in the U.S. The subsequent report has raised concerns that many of the 3.4 million girls in high school sports are missing out on the same opportunities as boys.

Some highlights from the report show significant need for improvement:

  • Title IX and high school athletics aren’t aggressively monitored by state or federal government officials. It’s mostly up to girls and their parents to report violations.
  • Most parents, students and school officials do not fully understand the Title IX law.
  • Reporting Title IX violations often means taking a stand against people in authoritative positions, which can dissuade students from making reports at all.
  • Title IX is not aggressively enforced. Girls who report Title IX violations often graduate from their high school teams before they see results.
Help ask for greater transparency in the Title IX system!
Help ask for greater transparency in the Title IX system!

Learn more in the video below.

Passing the High School Data Transparency Act (H.R. 455 and S. 217) would go a long way toward leveling the playing field by requiring U.S. schools make their athletic program data public. Elementary and high schools should be required to provide these statistics so that parents and students can hold their communities accountable.

Click below and ask the Secretary of Health and Human Services to give our daughters the same opportunities as our sons by passing the High School Data Transparency Act.

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