Title IX: About the Monumental 1972 Law

Woman on a track
Title IX was passed to protect the rights of female athletes. Hero Images / Getty Images

Often cited as a major milestone in the advancement of women's rights in the field of education— particularly high school and college sports—Title IX is actually part of the Educational Amendments of 1972 which ban sex discrimination in educational institutions.

Title IX was crafted to promote gender equity within the U.S. educational system and guarantee girls and women the same opportunities as boys and men. The law states:

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.

By linking federal funding to Title IX, lawmakers created a strong financial incentive for schools to implement Title IX policies or risk losing aid.

If an educational institution receives any form of federal funding, it must comply with Title IX. Not only does this include public schools and colleges but nearly all private colleges as they are the recipients of federal funds from students who receive financial aid from federal programs.