Despite Women Leading the Way in College Enrollment, Men Still Dominate College Athletic Participation

Over 50 years ago, the Department of Education established Title IX, requiring equity for women in higher education including college sports. However, recent research from the United States Government Accountability Office has found a large gender disparity in college athletics participation.

According to the study, women represented 56 percent of all undergraduate students across the United States, but only 42 percent of varsity college athletes in the 2021-2022 academic year. Out of all college and universities examined in the study, 63 percent had a women’s athletic participation rate that was at least 10 percentage points lower than their enrollment rate. Additionally, 40 percent of participating colleges offered the same or fewer varsity women sports in 2021-2022 compared to 2009-2010.

The study also reviewed several cases from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which oversees Title IX athletics compliance investigations, and found significant delays in response time and communication. The research revealed that the Office of Civil Rights does not require its staff to record due dates for responding to college investigations. The study found that in 10 of the 26 cases they reviewed, the Office of Civil Rights did communicate with the college for over a year. In five of those investigations, there was no communication for five years or more.

The Government Accountability Office recommends the Department of Education utilizes their findings to review their processes for Title IX investigations and better support women’s college athletics. They suggest the Department of Education expands its use of athletic data for oversight, establish timeliness response goals for college complaints and monitoring reports, and require due dates for Title IX monitoring activities.

Filed Under: Research/StudyTitle IX

RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply