Debunking the Title IX Myth…For Real
Dawn Redd, head volleyball coach at Beloit College, attempts to provide “the truth” about Title IX on her blog, Coach Dawn Writes. Except in trying to set the record straight, she further distorts the myths reiterated by gender quota activists.
Let’s begin with this statement: “It turns out that equity in athletics was a happy by-product of a much broader law.” The purpose of Title IX is to create equality of opportunity; if you (male or female) want to play a sport, you can. When activists use the word “equity,” they’re most likely referring to equal numbers; if 52 percent of the population is girls, then 52 percent of the athletes at that school should be girls. And where does that lead us? Slashing team rosters, cutting whole teams, adding teams like golf and sand volleyball to arbitrarily boost participation numbers. They fail to realize that not all girls want to play sports in equal numbers to boys, and that girls are involved in a plethora of extracurricular activities. Why is the emphasis only on sports? The bottom line is that many kids, especially boys, who want to play sports can no longer do so because of groups solely pursuing equal rates, not equal chances.
That leads us to the next fallacy: “a prevalent myth is ‘women’s sports are causing men’s sports to be cut.’ Schools aren’t cutting men’s sports because of women’s athletics…they’re cutting them because that’s the choice they’ve made.” What?
Here are just some of the men’s teams cut specifically because of Title IX, not to mention all of the men’s teams cut because of “budget reasons” (read between the lines):
- University of Delaware track and field (“While this was a difficult decision, this action demonstrates the University’s commitment to the equity principles embodied in Title IX.”)
- Northern Iowa baseball (Troy Dannen, athletic director: “We weren’t going to look at a women’s program, we had to look at the men’s side of it.”)
- Rutgers University men’s heavyweight crew, men’s lightweight crew, men’s fencing, men’s swimming and diving and men’s tennis (Robert E. Mulcahy, Director of Athletics: “compliance to the guidelines of Title IX”
- PLNU men’s golf, men’s cross country and men’s track and field teams (Caye Barton Smith, Vice President of the school: “we have worked closely with the Office of Civil Rights to make certain we remain in full compliance with our gender balance in athletics relative to our university balance”)
- Liberty University wrestling (“legal obligation to comply with federal law relating to gender equity.”)
- University of Nebraska-Omaha wrestling and football
Here are just some of the academic support pieces showing how cutting men’s teams is just one of the byproducts of Title IX quota implementation:
- Richard Epstein, Hoover Institution, “Repeal Title IX”
- Alison Somin, Federalist Society, “Title IX”
- Walter Olson, Reason Magazine, “Title IX from Outer Space”
- Neal McCluskey, Cato Institute, “UConn’s Steak and Title IX”
- Allison Kasic, formerly of Independent Women’s Forum, “Title IX and Athletics: A Case Study of Perverse Incentives and Unintended Consequences”
- Carrie Lukas, Independent Women’s Forum, “High Schools Don’t Need Gender Quotas”
- Wendy Parker, “Reworking Title IX”
- Joshua Thompson, Pacific Legal Foundation, “The Title IX Blog soundly defeats a number of straw men”
The real myth of Title IX is that it’s only doing good. While we certainly want as many opportunities available as possible for both males and females, we can’t help but to think of the many hardworking, dedicated student athletes who are no longer able to play out of their schools’ concerns for gender quotas. It’s time we get real reform going.