This paper analyzes the ideological discourse that socializes us into ways of thinking about gender equity and Title IX. My contention is that the ideological principle of equity which underlies Title IX is on a collision course with cultural beliefs that contribute to a patriarchal gender ideology. Socially constructed meanings and beliefs that interpret gender difference as gender hierarchy not only contribute to dominant gender ideology but are also a critical ingredient of the process of socialization. As a cultural process influenced by hegemonic beliefs about gender, we are socialized into values and beliefs anchored in patriarchy that hegemonically construct sport as masculine. Ideologically, Title IX, which is based on feminist notions of equality, challenges these cultural constructions because it allows for alternative readings of sport, masculine bodies, feminine bodies, and the gendered nature of physicality. The discourse of backlash, a component of hegemonic socialization steeped in gender hierarchy, offers resistance to notions of equality (Title IX), which can be viewed as counterhegemonic. In opposition to the symbolic as well as legal challenge of Title IX, which problematizes the organizational culture of sport, the discourse of backlash offers one way of preserving hegemonic gender ideology.
Susan L. Greendorfer
Ellen J. Staurowsky, Erica J. Zonder and Brenda A. Riemer
As Title IX approaches its 50th anniversary, the state of its application to athletic departments within federally funded schools at the secondary and postsecondary levels evokes the expression “the more things change, the more things stay the same.” Title IX has been credited with successfully addressing sexual stereotypes that generally limited opportunities and created barriers for students to realize their full potential as athletes, citizens, parents, scholars, and workers (Buzuvis, 2012). As much as the educational landscape has changed as a result of Title IX, there remains a concern that schools do not have the mechanisms in place to ensure compliance five decades after the law was passed. The purpose of this study was to examine what college athletes know about Title IX and how they come to know it through a survey instrument comprised of five open-ended questions. Consistent with previous studies of coaches, athletics administrators, educators, and athletes, nearly 50% of the college athletes participating in this study did not know what Title IX was. For the remaining 50%, their perceptions of Title IX reveal large gaps in foundational understandings of what Title IX requires and how it works. The words of the respondents offer a window into their understandings and relationship with Title IX which cover a full spectrum from “it opens up the door for everyone” and “gives female athletes the support they need to succeed” to it results in an “illogical” way to achieve fairness.
Mary Jo Kane
This study examined the impact of Title IX on media coverage given to female athletes to determine if there has been a shift away from negative social stereotypes traditionally associated with women’s sports participation toward a more socially accepting view of the female athlete. A content analysis of feature articles within 1,228 issues of Sports Illustrated was undertaken for the years 1964-1987. These represented three 8-year time spans before (1964-71), during (1972-79), and after (1980-87) Title IX. In order to assess whether attitudes have changed toward female athletes as related to a Title IX timeline, amount and type of coverage were considered. Chi-square analyses revealed mixed results. There was a significant increase in the proportion of coverage given to women in athletic (e.g., professional golfer) versus nonathletic (e.g., swimsuit model) roles. However, feature articles about female athletes gave significantly more coverage to women in "sex-appropriate" sports such as tennis versus "sex-inappropriate" sports such as rugby, regardless of the Title IX time frame. Results are discussed in terms of challenging current beliefs that women’s athletics have gained widespread social acceptance following the enactment of Tide IX. Implications for practitioners and academics within sport management are presented.
Erin Whiteside and Marie Hardin
This study explores assumptions about the relationship between sport and gender through a textual analysis of newspaper editorials on Title IX from 2002 to 2005. Through the analysis we found that none of the articles opposed Title IX outright. The arguments in the editorials used a liberal feminist rationale that positioned women and men as equally deserving of civil rights protections and the institution of sports as needing to become gender-neutral to provide those protections. An “oppositional reading” of these editorials from a radical feminist perspective, however, found the assumption that the practice and values of sports are naturally masculine; thus, sports ultimately belong to men. The analysis illuminated the shortcomings of the liberal feminist rhetoric and the need for more radical voices to move women’s sports from a defensive to an empowered position in U.S. culture.
In the 1980s, Title IX and other civil tights laws faced significant challenges within a political climate of Reaganism and the growing strength of the alliance between the New Right and the Religious Right. In the 1980s two major events impacted all civil rights legislation based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The first was the Grove City College v. Bell (1984) Supreme Court decision and the second was the 1987 Civil Rights Restoration Act passed over the veto of President Reagan in 1988. This article examines the public discourse of these events through a critical media reading of mainstream newspaper coverage throughout the 1980s, highlighting the central role of Title IX in the debate over civil rights. This examination highlights the importance of dominant discourse in the enforcement of civil rights laws, as well as in the resulting lack of opportunity development over time.
Theresa A. Walton and Michelle T. Helstein
Attempts to unify and mobilize the U.S. collegiate wrestling community to “save” it from decline frames Title IX as the main “problem” to overcome. The logic of a community of identification at work in this strategy limits the interventions that can be made for wrestling while enabling corporate men’s sport to remain the hegemonic form of U.S. collegiate athletics. We explicate and critique the varied articulations of wrestling as a community of identification following Helstein’s (2005) call to deconstruct assumptions of unified sporting communities and to consider communities of articulation. We illustrate how communities of identification necessarily fail and how moving toward communities of articulation offers an intervention that enables a reframing of the relationship between Title IX and collegiate wrestling that could motivate meaningful change.
Jane Marie Stangl and Mary Jo Kane
The dramatic decline of women coaches since Title IX has been well documented. This investigation examined how homologous reproduction has influenced the proportion of female to male head coaches within the historical context of Title IX. Homologous reproduction is a process whereby dominants reproduce themselves based on social and/or physical characteristics. Therefore the employment relationship between sex of athletic director and sex of head coach was considered. The sample included 937 public high schools for three Title IX time periods. Analysis of variance procedures indicated significant main effects for sex of athletic director and Title IX timeframe: Significantly more women were hired under female versus male athletic directors. However, there was also a significantly smaller proportion of female coaches in 1981-82 and 1988-89 compared to 1974-75. This latter pattern occurred under both female and male athletic directors. Findings are discussed in terms of analyzing employment practices toward females as manifestations of hegemony.
Cindy Simon Rosenthal, Lynsey Morris and Jamie Martinez
The 30th anniversary of the landmark legislation known as Title IX witnessed a year-long public policy drama over whether the law should be amended in some fashion. The saga reveals much about the political strategies of interest groups engaged in gender policymaking in the 21st century and tests conventional wisdom about policy windows (Kingdon, 1994) and agenda access (Cobb and Ross, 1997). In June 2002, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige appointed a blue ribbon commission to examine ways of strengthening enforcement and expanding opportunities for all college athletes under Title IX. Over the next 12 months, the commission held public hearings and forwarded numerous recommendations for change to the Secretary, but subsequently the Department of Education elected to take no action.
As David Rochefort and Roger Cobb point out, “If policymaking is a struggle over alternative realities, then language is the medium that reflects, advances, and interprets these alternatives” (1994, p. 9). This case explores the overarching strategic goals, membership mobilization efforts, and media strategies of “initiators” and “opponents” (Cobb & Ross, 1994). We juxtapose these strategies against the unfolding media coverage (an analysis of 297 major newspaper stories in 13 major print outlets) and testimony by 225 individuals before the commission.
While revealing the dynamics of problem, policy and political streams (Kingdon, 1994) and strategies of agenda denial (Cobb & Ross, 1994), the case also exposes important paradoxes that may be explained by gender.
Ellen J. Staurowsky, Heather Lawrence, Amanda Paule, James Reese, Kristy Falcon, Dawn Marshall and Ginny Wenclawiak
As a measure of progress, the experiences today of women athletes in the state of Ohio are far different from those attending institutions of higher learning just after the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. But how different, and how much progress has been made? The purpose of this study was to assess the level of progress made by compiling and analyzing data available through the Equity in Athletics Disclosure reports filed by 61 junior colleges, four year colleges, and universities in the State of Ohio over a four year span of time for the academic years 2002-2006.2 The template for this study was the report completed by the Women’s Law Project examining gender equity in intercollegiate athletics in colleges and universities in Pennsylvania (Cohen, 2005), the first study of its kind. Similar to that effort, this study assesses the success with which intercollegiate athletic programs in Ohio have collectively responded to the mandates of Title IX in areas of participation opportunities and financial allocations in the form of operating budgets, scholarship assistance, recruiting and coaching.3
James T. Morton
By Belanger Kelly. Published in 2016 by Syracuse University Press (461 pp., $44.95 ) In Invisible Seasons , Kelly Belanger offers an inside look into the early implementation of Title IX and its effects on a university, its athletic department, and the various stakeholders connected to both