Title IX: How Far Is Too Far?

December 9, 2009 | NeW Staff

Title IX.  The legislation designed to equalize the playing field for men and women.  Well it’s done what it was supposed to do, but what all has it really done to improve the lives and opportunities for men and women?  Unfortunately, the negative effects of Title IX are broad and continue to impact men and women today in ways that need to be addressed.

Today, Phyllis Schlafly wrote a column about another adverse effect of Title IX: 75% of young men today are not eligible to serve in the Army.  Why?  Because they don’t meet the physical or educational requirements or even worse, they have a criminal record.  How does this involve Title IX?  As Schlafly argues, in order to give women more opportunities specifically in college sports, Title IX has forced hundreds of universities to eliminate male sports teams.  Schafly writes,

“Reducing opportunities for college sports is a powerful disincentive to men and is a major cause of the dramatic drop in male attendance.”

Some specific examples…male wrestling teams and male gymnastic teams have been all but eliminated on college campuses.  Only 19 collegiate male gymnastic programs exist.  This is hurting men, but beyond that, it is problematic for colleges.  Having to fund “struggling” female sports teams just to keep things “equal” is dangerous for a school’s budget.

This is a topic I’ve thought a good deal about.  As a young woman who was a high school athlete (never good enough for college but certainly aspired to that level!), without Title IX, my fellow teammates probably would not have had the same opportunities to play sports on the collegiate level.  I was excited with them when I learned they had the chance to compete for their college and even earn a scholarship to do so.  I wrestle with this issue.  However, my dilemma ends when I remember of all of the men who have been actively discouraged to compete and pursue collegiate level athletics.   

The solution to this issue calls us all to return to a basic principle: Men and women are different.  Our legislation and public policy should reflect the differences between the sexes.  Title IX, unfortunately, has become nothing more than a quota system.  It eliminates equality of opportunity.  It discriminates against men.  It discourages a free market.  Title IX should be a lesson to all of us: The pursuit of equality of outcome yields even greater inequalities.  
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