WASHINGTON, DC — Plans are underway to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark anti-discrimination education statute. Thirty years ago President Richard Nixon signed Title IX into law. The intent of Title IX — to provide equal opportunity to women (and men) in “any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance” — has resulted in a bitter competition between equal opportunity and equal outcomes. IWF Senior Fellow Christine Stolba notes that “Title IX’s intent has been undermined by feminist special interest groups and overzealous government bureaucrats. And it is male athletes who are paying the price.” Stolba has written extensively about the impact of Title IX, most recently in her book, The Feminist Dilemma: When Success is Not Enough.

“In large part, because of the outcome of Cohen vs. Brown University, the three-prong test by which the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces Title IX has been reduced to one — achieving statistical proportionality in athletic programs,” continues Stolba. “Quotas have become the best way to avoid a lawsuit or OCR investigation.”

Adds Stolba, “Boys nearly always express higher levels of interest in sports than girls and male sports such as football have larger team rosters than women’s sports such as volleyball. The National Organization for Women, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Women’s Sports Foundation have been playing a brutal numbers game to disadvantage men — suing colleges and universities to enforce proportionality. In less than a decade, more than 80,000 slots for male athletes on intercollegiate teams have disappeared from college campuses.”

“Hopefully, the Department of Education will use the birthday of Title IX to reform the regulations. Giving men and women equal opportunity should be our goal — and would return us to the intent of this important piece of legislation,” concluded Stolba.

The Independent Women’s Forum, founded in 1992, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.