Title IX and Women's Participation in Sport
Back, Stellan, JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance
Since Title IX was enacted in 1972, women's participation in sports has increased significantly. However, studies at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) universities still show that fewer women participate in sports than men. According to the Office of Civil Rights, "Title IX compliance can be achieved if athletic opportunities to both sexes are provided in proportion to the need of the underrepresented sex, or in proportion to respective enrollments" (Lopiano, 1994). Many universities do not provide athletic opportunities in proportion to their student population, so women's needs and interests regarding sports have become an important issue. If the female students at a given university have less interest in sports than the male students, then that university may have fewer female athletes than male athletes and still be in compliance with Title IX.
Baker, Heinrich, and Miller (2000) surveyed students from a Division II university. Their study was designed to: (1) determine the female students' interest in sports, (2) determine whether students think their university is in compliance with Title IX, and (3) compare the interest in sports exhibited by male and female students.
In the first part of the study, female students' interest in sports was compared to the opportunities offered by the university. The subjects were randomly selected and then contacted by phone; in all, 382 women completed the "Student Interest in Athletics, Sports, and Physical Fitness Survey" (NCAA, 1995). Most of the surveyed women (92%) were Caucasian. Results revealed that time-related constraints, and not interest, was the primary reason why some women chose not to participate in college athletics. The respondents also reported that they were generally satisfied with the athletic programs offered, which suggests that the university was in compliance with Title IX.
In the second part of the study, the interest level of female respondents was compared to that of male respondents. …