Athletics Task Force

Title IX has increased female participation in sports exponentially. In response to greater opportunities to play, the number of high school girls participating in sports has risen tenfold in the past 40 years, while six times as many women compete in college sports. These gains demonstrate the key principle underlying the legislation: Women and girls have an equal interest in sports and deserve equal opportunities to participate.

Despite these advances, hurdles for female athletes remain. Girls and women still have fewer opportunities to participate in school sports than their male counterparts. In addition, different groups are not represented equally: Less than two-thirds of African-American and Hispanic girls play sports, while more than threequarters of Caucasian girls do. In addition to having fewer opportunities, girls often endure inferior treatment in areas such as equipment, facilities, coaching, and scheduling.

Criticism of the effects of Title IX on athletics often springs from misconceptions about how the law works. Title IX does not mandate quotas or demand equal funding for all sports. Nor has opening opportunities for girls and women come at the expense of boys and men; in fact, athletic participation among males has continued to rise over the past 40 years.