Title IX: Explaining the landmark civil rights law that codified gender equity in sports and beyond

On June 23, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 will turn 50.

The landmark civil rights law's famous first 37 words prohibit sex-based discrimination at educational institutions that receive money from the United States Department of Education. Those institutions include more than 5,000 colleges, universities, vocational schools and trade schools, along with more than 17,000 local school districts.

Title IX, as the law is more commonly called, is widely known for its strides toward gender equity for women and girls who play sports. However, the law also protects students from sex-based discrimination in other areas, including:
  • Financial assistance
  • Recruitment
  • Admissions
  • Sexual harassment, assault, and violence
  • Treatment of pregnant or parenting students
  • Treatment of LGBTQI+ students
  • Discipline
  • Employment


There have been amendments to the law since its passing in 1972. Among the most recent changes, a federal judge struck down Trump-era provisions of Title IX that required accusers or the accused in sexual assault grievances to be cross-examined to make their cases.

The Biden administration has announced that it will propose more amendments to Title IX by April 2022.

ABC Owned Television Stations and ABC's Localish present 50 inspiring stories from around the country for Fifty/50, as part of The Walt Disney Company's monumental initiative highlighting the 50th anniversary of the passing of Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any educational institution that receives federal funding, and gave women the equal opportunity to play.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ESPN, Localish and this station.
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