News

    40-Year-Old US Law Still Provides Sports Opportunities for Girls

    The United States is marking the 40th anniversary of a law that requires schools using federal funds to provide male and female students with equal opportunities in sports and other programs.

    Supporters say Title IX has dramatically increased the number of female athletes in the country, but critics say that has come at a cost, reducing opportunities for young men to compete at the highest level of collegiate sports.

    At a recent Washington tournament, America's top high school girls' basketball teams did more than just play the game.  They learned about a 40-year-old law that has helped many girls pursue their athletic ambitions.

    "Here, we get to play basketball and learn new things," stated Nira Fields, who came from California for the event. "The main thing I learned was equality among sports for the women's and the men's side."

    The Title IX act of 1972 says schools receiving federal funds must not discriminate against males or females in programs such as sports.  That has led universities to offer more scholarships to female athletes, giving many an education and a chance to compete.

    Tina Thompson, the top scorer in the professional Women’s National Basketball Association, says scholarships made university affordable for her.

    “I'm one of five children, and so, going to a university like Southern California was something that I probably would not have had the opportunity to go to," Thompson explained. "I mean, I could have picked any school that I wanted to go to in the country, because of Title IX.”

    Since Title IX took effect, female U.S. athletes also have had increasing international success. The United States reached the Women’s World Cup final against Japan last year. But there is also some controversy.

    Critics say the law actually discriminates against male athletes by pressuring universities to offer them fewer programs in low-profile sports, like wrestling. Many universities have eliminated some men’s teams to cut costs and to make sure they meet Title IX’s requirement for gender balance among programs.

    Bryan Hazard, a head wrestling coach at Robinson Secondary School, hosted a tournament in northern Virginia. He says the university wrestling program that attracted him in high school was dropped because of Title IX.

    “So, you know, is that fair? To me, it wasn't. I was one of the numbers,” Hazard said.

    Sabrina Schaeffer, the executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum, argues that Title IX effectively imposes gender quotas on schools.

    “There are legitimate and real differences between the sexes, and we shouldn't try to paper that over with legislation,” Schaeffer stressed.

    Title IX supporters say schools often cut smaller men's sports to maintain expensive American football and basketball programs.  

    As the law marks its 40th anniversary, those supporters vow to keep fighting for more resources for girls’ sports.


    Michael Lipin

    Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin
    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Discrimination
    March 18, 2012 5:19 AM
    This is BS, if women sports teams were being cut at even half the rate boys programs are then their would be national outrage. Title IX is a hateful feminist inspired law that has done and continues to do irriparable damage to mens and boys sports programs. But since it "just" negatively affects males no one is going to do anything about it.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora