|GENDER PARITY IN SPORTS|
The pros and cons of Title IX
May 19, 1997
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Is there a way to create opportunities for women without taking them away from men? How can a grandfather support girls' sports? Have any colleges or universities ever been denied federal funding because of Title IX? What impact does the ruling have on high school sports? Aren't men just more interested in sports than women? VIEWER COMMENTS
March 28, 1997:
A debate about March Madness-- the National Collegiate Athletic Association's championships tournaments for men and women.
February 7, 1997:
Women's professional basketball is starting to bring in the money and the fans.
July 30, 1996:
Athletes of both sexes train for the Olympics.
Browse the NewsHour's index of Sports stories.
The Women's Sports Foundation's stand on Title IX.
Kevin Palmer of St. Louis, MO, asks:
Although the statistics in the article brief indicated a substantial increase in high school female sports participation, how is that figure relative to the male counterparts? Basing funding on percentage levels in "high school age" gender participation may be more accurate of a true gender-related interest in sports. This figure should take into account the widest possible athletic participation, inclusive of sports played outside of the high school arena. Wouldn't the panel agree that this method would be fair to all parties? Or, should the college level male sports continue to take massive hits because females are not interested in participating at the same level as males?
Donna de Verona of ABC Sports responds:
Title IX guidelines already support the gender-related concept in the law. Under the Title IX three-pronged test, the ratio of student population to opportunity as well as gender-based interest is a consideration for compliance with Title IX. What we've found over the last 25 years is if opportunity is provided and the interest is there, women will participate. We haven't seen a larger growth because the opportunity hasn't been there, and we've seen wide-spread discrimination.
Approximately 28 schools of 303 Division I schools are in compliance with Title IX. For every opportunity for women, there's at least an opportunity and a half for men. Even after Title IX, the opportunity for men have grown faster than opportunities for women.
Men still receive $179 million more in scholarships then women, so what's fair? Title IX isn't taking men's opportunities away; it's creating a level playing field. And it's the law of the land.
Mark Nickel of Brown University responds:
Brown University has argued that Title IX's primary focus should be on the interests and abilities of students, not on making the number of participants equal by gender. Where opportunity is extended equally, a program will attract participants based on choices students make. I am not sure that basing funding on a per-capita scheme makes sense, however--largely because of the differences between sports. A sport like women's ice hockey that requires helmets and other protective gear will cost a school more than men's cross-country. A collision sport like football has the same problem, compared to women's swimming. Title IX allows reasonable accommodations related to the funding needs of the team. I would agree that an equitable sports program should offer participation opportunities that reflect the athletic interests of the student body.
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