Myth: Title IX only applies to athletic programs
This is perhaps the most widely held misconception about Title IX.
Athletics are not the only component of academic life governed by Title
IX. Other areas which fall within the scope of Title IX include:
- Recruitment, Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships
- Course Offerings and Access
- Hiring and Retention of Employees
- Benefits and Leave
Title IX also prohibits sexual harassment, which includes sexual
assault and sexual violence.
Myth: Title IX requires that male athletic opportunities be
increased to provide opportunities for female programs
Title IX is designed to create parity in athletics, as well as other
educational opportunities and experiences for men and women. Title
IX does not require educational institutions to cut men's athletic programs. Each
educational instituion determines how it will comply with Title IX regulations.
Myth: Title IX applies only to discrimination against women
While Title IX has been used mostly by women seeking to protect their
rights, Title IX also serves to protect the rights of men. Title
IX requires that males and females receive fair and equal treatment in
all areas of education.
Myth: According to Title IX, all educational activities and programs
must be co-ed and open to both men and women
Title IX specifically allows for, or has been interpreted to allow
for, single-sex programs in a number of categories. Included among those
are: religious schools, traditional men's/women's colleges, social
fraternities/sororities, youth service organizations such as The
Boy/Girl Scouts of America, and beauty pageants.
Myth: Gender bias in science, medicine, and engineering is not
prohibited by Title IX
The under-representation of women in science, medicine, and
engineering may violate Title IX. Educational institutions are
required to provide women in these disciplines resources, support, and
promotional opportunities comparable to their male colleagues.
Myth: Advocates for victims of Title IX who file complaints of
discrimination for others are not protected from retaliation under Title
The U.S. Supreme Court has broadened the interpretation of Title IX
to protect from retaliation whistle-blowers who accuse educational
institutions of sex discrimination. The court is of the opinion
that reporting incidents of discrimination is integral to Title IX
enforcement and would be discouraged if retaliation against those who
report it goes unpunished.