In 2022, no college-sports fan could have missed the banners, commercials, and exuberant celebration of “Title IX at 50.” As a senior at the University of Kentucky on a full scholarship for swimming, having set Southeastern Conference records and achieved All-American recognition twelve times, I certainly did not. Title IX, part of the Education Amendments of 1972, has dramatically improved opportunities for women, myself included.

In 1970, only 8 percent of women held college degrees, and only 15 percent of college athletes were women. Today, almost 40 percent of women have college degrees, and we make up 44 percent of college athletes. High-school-sports participation tells a similar story. During the 1971–72 school year, fewer than 300,000 girls participated, but by 2018–19 almost 3.5 million girls did (while opportunities for boys increased as well).

This is a good thing. Swimming has given me friendships with teammates, leadership skills, and confidence that I will carry for a lifetime. Girls who play sports have higher self-esteem and lower rates of depression. We are less likely to have an unintended pregnancy, on average we get better grades, and we learn teamwork that helps us in the workplace — 80 percent of the female executives at Fortune 500 companies identified themselves as former sports-playing “tomboys.”

Despite the boon that Title IX has been for female athletes, the Biden administration, the NCAA, and various governing bodies threaten to dismantle it by pursuing policies that discriminate against women. The Biden administration, for its part, is pursuing an illegal administrative rewrite of Title IX that would substitute the law’s demand for equal opportunity between the two sexes with sports participation based on (undefined) “gender identity,” except when this would undermine an (undefined) “important educational objective,” a category that presumably includes safety and fairness in competition. This entirely subjective test would discourage schools from having single-sex sports at all, lest a bureaucrat disagree with the school’s fairness determination and cut off the school’s funding.