Using COVID-19 as a Cover for Binding Regulatory Change: Title IX under Trump

(Source)   On August 14, 2020, colleges and universities will be required to comply with what is essentially an overhaul of the Title IX system as it has existed for over the last decade. Title IX has been revolutionary in combating sexual harassment and sexual abuse in schools, on sports teams, and in other educational programs. The commonly referenced “Title IX” is the ninth title in the Education Amendments Act of 1972, a federal civil rights law which states that “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Since 1972, blatant pregnancy discrimination has been all but eradicated, the proportion of women earning college and professional degrees has consistently increased, and women have increasingly become college professors. Title IX is now largely seen as protection against sexual assault and harassment, a topic which has garnered much more national attention in recent years. Many, however, do not know where Title IX gets its power. Much of our present-day federal policy is determined by regulatory institutions within the executive branch or by the [read more]

Sidelining Locker Room Talk

By Christina M. Kim In 2012, Harvard University discovered an online “scouting report” in which male soccer players ranked female players by attractiveness and suspected sexual preferences. Freshmen women players, some as young as 17, were evaluated based on their looks and sex appeal with numerical scores and offensive descriptions. The report assigned each woman a hypothetical sexual position in addition to her position on the soccer field. For example:  “She seems relatively simple and probably inexperienced sexually, so I decided missionary would be her preferred position.”  This ranking system appears to have been a and was not isolated to a few individuals. In response Harvard University suspended its men’s soccer team for the remainder of the 2016-17 season.   While it is easy to dismiss the scouting report as “locker room talk,” sex discrimination and exploitation on college campuses is not so neatly confined. Universities across the country are struggling to address sexism on and off the fields.   In 2015, more than 150,000 students at 27 universities participated in the Association of American Universities (AAU) Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. The purpose was to “help participating universities better understand the attitudes and experiences of [read more]