• How Compliance with Title IX has Shaped Peach Belt Conference Athletics

      DeSilvester, Catherine; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2016-12)
      Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was passed in order to require gender equity for males and females in every educational program that receives federal funding (Lancaster, 2010). Essentially, Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender and ensures women are not excluded from participating in an educational program or activity (National Women’s Law Center, 2002). The legislation as a whole encompasses a variety of areas of higher education and multiple amendments have been proposed to this legislation in the 44 years since its inception. Although the word “sports” is not specifically mentioned in the legislation, the wording of the law has become synonymous with increasing multiple opportunities for women in athletics. The United States Supreme Court has ruled in multiple cases that the legislation does in fact extend to prohibit discriminatory practices in athletics (US Department of Education 2002). After the passage of Title IX, women’s participation in athletics increased dramatically, along with budgets and scholarships devoted to female athletes (National Women’s Law Center, 2002). Legislation has always been the initial spark plug in efforts towards equality in society and Title IX is no exception. Making sure that women are not subject to discrimination solely based on their gender in the field of education and related activities is vital because the right to an education is a fundamental human right. At its inception, Title IX created a wave of social reform in all things related to academia. The inequality between the different genders was something that prior to the passage of Title IX legislation desperately needed to be addressed at the federal level. My research will demonstrate the positive impact Title IX has had on women’s opportunities in athletics in the six founding schools of the Peach Belt Conference (PBC). This positive impact is evident in the rapid increase in female participation in athletics since the passage of the legislation. Specifically, I will use the three prong test used by the U.S. Department of Education for compliance with Title IX as a way to gauge the progress of these schools towards gender equality. [Introduction]