Title IX: Separate but Equal for Girls and Women in Athletics

THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF FEMINISM AND LAW IN THE UNITED STATES, Deborah L. Brake, Martha Chamallas & Verna L. Williams, eds. Forthcoming

24 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2020

See all articles by Erin Buzuvis

Erin Buzuvis

Western New England University School of Law

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in education, is well known for transforming girls’ and women’s sports. Because the requirements it imposes on scholastic and collegiate athletics do not reflect a single, unified theory of gender equality, it has been aptly dubbed a law of “many feminisms.” Since its early history, Title IX has embraced a system of sex segregation in sports, going against the grain of civil rights statutes that mandate gender integration and formal equality in other realms. However, Title IX’s “separate but equal” regime is increasingly being challenged by feminists who argue that it has not done enough to eliminate gender disparities and inequities in sport and is fundamentally incompatible with the inclusion and fair treatment of transgender and nonbinary athletes. The first two sections of this chapter trace the history of Title IX as it has been applied to sports and present evidence of the dramatic, but unfinished and racially uneven, impact it has had on increasing athletic opportunities for women and girls. The chapter then canvasses the feminist arguments for and against sex segregation in sports and makes the case that a regime of strict sex-separation is no longer the best strategy for assuring girls’ and women’s success in sports and dislodging pernicious stereotypes of women’s inferior athleticism.

Keywords: Title IX, Sex Discrimination, Gender Inequality, Segregation by Sex, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Athletes, Nonbinary

Suggested Citation

Buzuvis, Erin, Title IX: Separate but Equal for Girls and Women in Athletics (2020). THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF FEMINISM AND LAW IN THE UNITED STATES, Deborah L. Brake, Martha Chamallas & Verna L. Williams, eds. Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3734582 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3734582

Erin Buzuvis (Contact Author)

Western New England University School of Law ( email )

1215 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01119
United States

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