Publish date:
Updated on
Year
1972

Title IX enacted

On this day in 1972, Title IX of the education amendments of 1972 is enacted into law. Title IX prohibits federally funded educational institutions from discriminating against students or employees based on sex. It begins: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” As a result of Title IX, any school that receives any federal money from the elementary to university level–in short, nearly all schools–must provide fair and equal treatment of the sexes in all areas, including athletics.

Before Title IX, few opportunities existed for female athletes. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which was created in 1906 to format and enforce rules in men’s football but had become the ruling body of college athletics, offered no athletic scholarships for women and held no championships for women’s teams. Furthermore, facilities, supplies and funding were lacking. As a result, in 1972 there were just 30,000 women participating in NCAA sports, as opposed to 170,000 men.

Title IX was designed to correct those imbalances. Although it did not require that women’s athletics receive the same amount of money as men’s athletics, it was designed to enforce equal access and quality. Women’s and men’s programs were required to devote the same resources to locker rooms, medical treatment, training, coaching, practice times, travel and per diem allowances, equipment, practice facilities, tutoring and recruitment. Scholarship money was to be budgeted on a commensurate basis, so that if 40 percent of a school’s athletic scholarships were awarded to men, 40 percent of the scholarship budget was also earmarked for women.

Since the enactment of Title IX, women’s participation in sports has grown exponentially. In high school, the number of girl athletes has increased from just 295,000 in 1972 to more than 2.6 million. In college, the number has grown from 30,000 to more than 150,000. In addition, Title IX is credited with decreasing the dropout rate of girls from high school and increasing the number of women who pursue higher education and complete college degrees.

Despite these advancements, Title IX has not been without controversy. Critics point out that while it may be helping female athletes, it can hurt male athletes when schools are forced to cancel smaller men’s programs to meet the strictures of the law.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Nasser elected president

On June 23, 1956, 99.95 percent of Egyptian voters mark their ballots to elect Gamal Abdel Nasser as the first president of the Republic of Egypt. Nasser, who toppled the Egyptian monarchy in 1952 in a military coup, was the only presidential candidate on the ballot. In the same ...read more

Klaus Fuchs released

After only nine years in prison, Klaus Fuchs, the German-born Los Alamos scientist whose espionage helped the USSR build their first atomic and hydrogen bombs, is released from a British prison. Fuchs immediately left Britain for communist East Germany, where he resumed his ...read more

Teflon Don sentenced to life

Mafia boss John Gotti, who was nicknamed the “Teflon Don” after escaping unscathed from several trials during the 1980s, is sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on 14 accounts of conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering. Moments after his sentence was read in ...read more

Hitler takes a tour of Paris

On this day in 1940, Adolf Hitler surveys notable sites in the French capital, now German-occupied territory. In his first and only visit to Paris, Hitler made Napoleon’s tomb among the sites to see. “That was the greatest and finest moment of my life,” he said upon leaving. ...read more

First Battle of the Isonzo

On June 23, 1915, exactly one month after Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary, the Italian army attacks Austro-Hungarian positions near the Isonzo River, in the eastern section of the Italian front; it will become the first of twelve Battles of the Isonzo fought during World ...read more

North Vietnamese encircle Ben Het

Ben Het, a U.S. Special Forces camp located 288 miles northeast of Saigon and six miles from the junction of the Cambodian, Laotian and South Vietnamese borders, is besieged and cut off by 2,000 North Vietnamese troops using artillery and mortars. The base was defended by 250 ...read more

Nixon signs Higher Education Act

On this day in 1972, President Richard Nixon signs into law the Higher Education Act, which includes the groundbreaking Title IX legislation. Title IX barred discrimination in higher education programs, including funding for sports and other extracurricular activities. As a ...read more

Batman released

On this day in 1989, Tim Burton’s noir spin on the well-known story of the DC Comics hero Batman is released in theaters. Michael Keaton starred in the film as the multimillionaire Bruce Wayne, who has transformed himself into the crime-fighting Batman after witnessing his ...read more

Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Aleksei Kosygin

Hopes for better U.S.-Soviet relations run high as U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin in Glassboro, New Jersey, for a three-day summit. The meeting ended inconclusively, however, as issues such as Vietnam and the Middle East continued to ...read more