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Title IX should not be Amended

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The title IX bill that was made into law in 1972 is apiece of legislation aimed at enhancing the accessibility to sporting activities, events, positions and opportunities on equal footing among both boys and girls in high schools and colleges.   In this perspective, “Title IX” ,  Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 can be described as a civil legislation that was enacted with a view to give both the female and female students  ‘equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of their college education at all universities that receive federal funding’ (Williams, p.2). This piece of legislation, Title IX,   should not be amended but left intact as it helped to solve so many disparity issues in the educational sector. The outstanding benefit  of the Act, a justification as to why it should stand as it is  based on the fact  that it  corrected all the  injustices and inequalities that  existed in  the American learning institutions such as  those that could  inhibit any student from attaining his/her educational goals. Another strong argument in favor of the Act is that it provides an elaborate mechanism through which discrimination is addressed

Discussion

There has been widespread debate as to whether or not the Act should be amended. These arguments are based on the perceived loopholes in the law. For example, based on the civil laws, the Title IX application has attracted several court cases. These cases are normally applied by the citizens who seek legal redress against individuals, boards or institutions that have acted in contrary or not acted as the stipulations of the civil statute. One of such popular cases is the Boucher v Syracuse University. Filed in 1995, the plaintiff sued the University for acting against the requirements of the 1972 stipulations of the Title IX. Though the wishes of the plaintiff were not granted, on the ground that the university had put in place measures to promote equal gender participation in sports, the case points out some of the challenges faced in the process of implementing the requirements of Title IX laws. In many instances therefore, the learning institutions are bound to face similar law suits.

Secondly, in the Boulahanis v. Board of Regents case the university was sued for doing away with certain male games, soccer and wrestling. The university did away with these games citing budget constraints as they had to implement Title IX laws to the latter. The plaintiff lost the case as the court concurred with the arguments presented by the university.

Lastly, the case Chalenor v. University of North Dakota which had a similar ruling as the above case, a male student lost his sports scholarship as the university cited high costs associated with implementation of Title IX requirements. The student was awarded the sports scholarship so as to represent the university in various sporting competitions. However, the student did not get the opportunity to take up the scholarship offer as the university scrapped off the program just before he joined. In its defense the university argued that the program was eliminated with a view to promote the participation of female sports persons. At the same time, it would have been very expensive for the university to sustain the students as its budget was strained. While rejecting the application, the court made a ruling in favor of the university. According to the ruling, it was within the university’s right to scrap of the programs as to enhance the participation of females in sports. At the same time, the court rejected the application arguing that it was legal for the university to act as it did so as to adhere to the stipulations and requirement s of the law-Title IX.

On its perambulatory clause, the law expressly outlaws any form of discrimination that may be meted against any gender that would deter one from having access to the educational programs in the US. The clause in parts reads: “no per- son in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational programs or activity receiving federal financial assistance’ (Valentin, 1997).The fundamental benefit of the law therefore is that it has ensured that all the students at any time have the right to take part in any educational programs that are offered in their institutions

The passage and implementation of Title 9 have had certain impacts in the sports in industry. It is desirable that the positive impacts be sustained instead of amending the Act. The major positive impact that the law has brought about is the enhancement of equal sporting opportunities for all American youth irrespective of the gender. Since the requirement for the equal chance was made into law, it would imply that the school and college administrators would not promote any biased investment and creation of sporting opportunities.

As such, the law has contributed greatly to the efforts channeled towards women empowerment and ensuring equal human rights. These gains cannot be wished away or negated as proposed by those against it. Emphatically, Valentin (1997) argues that  the adoption of the policy by the US is tantamount to the  ‘modern women’s movement [scoring ]a historic victory on June 23, 1972, when Title IX was enacted as part of the Education Amendments’ (p.1). Similarly, William observes these gains made, noting that through the law, the participation of women in all college activities and athletes in particular, has spectacularly improved (Williams, 2007).

This argument implies that in the sporting industry, the women have opportunity to advance as male counterparts. Any amendment of the law would therefore be counterproductive and may kill the affirmative action. Another possible victory scored by the women that has an impact in the sports industry is the ability and possibility of the women to climb the sports career ladder, become coaches, match officials and sports administrators. Additionally, the Title IX legislation has promoted positive development of sporting among the women due to the funding requirements. It is a mandatory requirement that the concerned authorities adequately fund the women sports just as the case with the male counterparts. It is therefore very possible for the female sports personalities to advance their careers through the availability of the sports.

However, some opposite views held by certain people argue in the contrary that the passage of the bill limited the available amount of sports scholarships funds especially for the male sportsmen. This school of thought bases its argument on the fact that the passage of the law made most bodies and organization as well as academic institutions to focus more on the females. According to Williams (2007), Title IX which was in the beginning aimed at striking the balance  of ‘sexism in athletics’ has now achieved an opposite result with the scale now tipped in favor of the female gender (p.2).  Weighed against each other, the pros supersedes the cons, in  this aspect.

Another notable positive effect of the enactment of title IX into law is the immediate result realized from the participation of the women who obtained sports scholarships in major sporting events like Olympics. As a result, the sports industry in America has been greatly enhanced besides the pride brought to the nation. Citing example of Donna Varona who won gold medal in Olympics,  Williams (2007) illustrates how perfectly the law can enhance sports development since the swimmer failed to get such scholarships as they did not exist for  women unlike men b y 1964 (p.6). However, the inclusion of women in the sports scholarship initiatives implies that they become more competitive thus be counterproductive if gender balance is not factored in.

Statistical figures also highlight the major impact that the law has had in America since it became operational. For example the 1971 figures indicating women’s participating in interscholastic athletics and intercollegiate athletics stood at 294,000 and below 32, 000 respectively while  the comparative figures for 2003 and 2004 correspondingly are 2.8 million and over 160,000 (Williams, 2007). Evidently, there have been tremendous positive gains in relation to how the women access sports facilities and participate in sports events. These statistical analyses point out the fact that creation of the Title IX laws has had a direct positive bearing in the sports industry in terms of improved women participation in major sporting events unlike the years before 1972.

The level of sports professionalism has also arose due to many factors among them being the fact that the law forbids discrimination that may be directed to any gender either to bar or limit participation in sporting activities (Compton, Lewis &  Dawe, 2007). At the same time, most professional sports bodies carry out colligate recruitments when scouting for new talents. In baseball, footballs, swimming among others, most participants who compete professionally are drawn from the colleges. Williams in his research, stresses this point giving examples of ‘football, basketball, boxing, volleyball, golf, lacrosse and soccer leagues’ among other semi-professional leagues specifically for women; what has come about as a result of Title IX (p.6).Title IX has therefore contributed immensely to the development of professional sporting in many disciplines.

Given that America has diverse culture, it is critical that the positive impacts that the law has had on culture be perpetuated. It is worth noting that the enactment of the Title IX into law greatly impacted on the American culture. Since culture is very dynamic and existent in personality features and also influence the social relationships, any positive cultural change in the society would be widely welcomed while negative changes would be refuted by a majority. In the US, by 1970s, the women still had very little contributions or roles to play in the education arena.

Though they had huge percentage in the educational institution, they remained relatively voiceless and marginalized. This became more of accepted cultural norm that the women would not do certain things as men. For example, there was widespread gender stereotyping with the women viewed as a lesser gender which could not adequately perform certain activities, not do certain technical courses like mathematics’ and engineering and be employed in certain positions.  Nevertheless, these cultural beliefs were demystified with the passage of Title IX into law. Accordingly, the law has been described as a major ingredient for the significant change in the role of ‘women and girls in education and the work force’ (Valentin, 1997). Subjective and reactive approach to amend the Act may mean  that these cohesive factors in the society are lost.

Similarly, the law has helped in tackling the cases relating to discrimination in schools colleges and places of work. Through the law, any form of discrimination has been banned and the women as men have equal opportunity to compete in a fair level playing ground. More specifically, sexual based harassments have been addressed by the law to end the possibility of any gender being harassed in the learning institutions as well as during sporting events.

By the time the bill was enacted, the American culture generally gave a higher priority to the institution of marriage.            

Put differently, children born to single parenthood faced certain cultural discriminations and could not access certain opportunities equally without some negative feelings of guilt or general guilt. However, the law helped to positively tackle this possibility of discrimination that such children would be exposed to due to their parental status.

Negatively, those against the law argue that the law has resulted into certain fears and caused unexpected outcomes in its applications. For example, under the law, it is required that “all the grievance procedures and nondiscrimination policies must be made public’ (Valentin, 1997, p.1).  However certain cultural issues are bound to occur if some sensitive issues which involve certain parties are made public. For example, if a sexual harassment and related case as outlined in the law erupts, it is likely that the injured party may feel embarrassed and hurt further due to the cultural and social issues attached to sexual harassments in the society. It is such a clause in the Act that some people want changed.  In  they opinion,  it is critical that the clause be looked into with a view to limit the likely negative impacts that certain proceedings and investigations into alleged violation of the law may create relative to the cultural issues.

Conclusions

From the above analysis, it is evident that Title IX has greatly impacted on the sports industry as well as enhancement of equal educational opportunities for all the genders. As such, the Act should not be mutilated. Further, the enactment of the law has ensured that the gender based stereotyping and negative cultural connotations which existed before have been relatively reduced. This is because the female are now able to secure educational places just as the male counterparts. Since there are some challenges which have been faced in the process of implementation of the Title IX, there is need to address these issues amicably so as to enhance sustainability of the law, as opposed to blanket amendments. It is also recommendable that the enforcers of the law be educated on the tenets of the law so as to enhance the efficiency of service delivery. Above all the emerging negative trend where the male to female ratio (beneficiaries of the law) is becoming uneven in favor of women should be addressed so as to sustain the spirit of the law.

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