BY CORY BUCHTA
In 1948, a native Hawaiian woman named Patsy Mink got rejected from 20 different American medical schools. The reason? She was a woman. None of the 20 medical schools to which she applied accepted women.
Patsy instead went to law school and eventually became the representative from Hawaii in the U.S. House of Representatives. This is when Patsy authored the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act.
This amendment ensured that people in the U.S. could not 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.”
When this amendment was passed in 1972, it dealt with everything from math and science classes to sports. However, the controversy surrounding Title IX today is narrowed to sports participation. The argument for Title IX is that it allows women the opportunity to participate in collegiate athletics instead of taking a backseat to male athletes.
While that may have been true at one point, this statement is no longer valid.
Title IX requires proportionality between the overall gender population in a particular school and its athletic representation of that gender. If a school has more females than males, then the school has to have more female athletes than male athletes.
The problem with this is that males have a history of interest in sports greater than females. As a result, many collegiate men’s athletic teams are being disbanded to allow for proportionality.
In fact, as a direct result of Title IX, 171 colleges cut wrestling, 37 colleges cut football, 27 cut men’s outdoor track, 25 cut men’s swimming, and 10 cut ice hockey. Other sports are seeing losses as well. Many colleges are cutting their men’s baseball teams to become more proportional.
UCLA was forced to cut its men’s swimming team, which has produced more national champions and more Olympic medalists than any other team in history.
The problem with Title IX is it requires proportionality quotas to be met and disregards what anyone actually wants. Women are being offered scholarships to participate in sports they have never played before and are also easy to learn just so the school can meet a quota. Who would turn down free tuition to play a sport that is easy to learn?
Also, shouldn’t a school be able to decide which sports it offers? If a woman wants to play softball in college, she should go to a college that has a softball team. It’s that simple.
There are no real benefits to Title IX either. The number of female athletes can not be used as a measurement of success because it does not take into account the number of dedicated male athletes who lost their opportunity to play college athletics, and it does not take into account the number of female athletes who are just participating in a sport for a hefty scholarship.
At best Title IX is a great example of two wrongs making a right, except the wrongs greatly outweigh any rights.
Cory Buchta is a junior from Newton.