WASHINGTON, DC — Yesterday, the Independent Women’s Forum submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of the National Wrestling Coaches Association, who filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) earlier this year.
The original intent of Title IX was to prohibit sex discrimination in federally-funded educational programs. It was never intended to function as a quota system. Instead, a policy of proportionality has been implemented by the DOE — placing unrealistic demands on colleges and institutionalizing discrimination against men.
The proportionality test used by the DOE’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) requires colleges and universities to demonstrate that participation in collegiate sports is proportional by sex to their respective enrollments. And is therefore an arbitrary and unfair means of determining a school’s compliance with Title IX. The test fails to account for differing levels of interest between men and women.
“Women are the majority of college students today, yet they consistently express lower levels of interest in playing college-level sports than male students,” notes IWF Senior Fellow Christine Stolba. “In intramural sports, for example, which are driven entirely by student interest, women’s participation rates are 22 percent, compared to men’s 78 percent.”
Adds Stolba, “Title IX guarantees equal opportunity; it doesn’t mandate equal outcomes. Unfortunately, in order to comply with the misguided OCR interpretation of the statute — particularly the “proportionality rule” that requires the sex ratio of student athletes to mirror that of the entire student body — colleges have been forced to cut men’s teams.”
The IWF, in keeping with its mission to affirm women’s participation opposes the use of such quotas because they dishonor the legitimate athletic and academic accomplishments of women.
The Independent Women?s Forum, founded in 1992, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.