Title IX and Sexually Suggestive Jokes, Catcalls, or Innuendos

Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that prohibits gender discrimination within federally funded higher education institutions. Because the majority of colleges and universities are funded by the federal government in some capacity, schools must comply with Title IX regulations.

Sexual misconduct, in all of its forms, is technically gender discrimination. This means that the wide range of actions that constitute sexual misconduct is a direct violation of Title IX, and therefore will be adjudicated by schools in accordance with current federal guidelines.

Sexually suggestive jokes, catcalls, or innuendoes is a prevalent form of sexual misconduct that Title IX coordinators commonly receive complaints about on campus. In the event that a complaint is filed alleging any of this behavior, the accused student and an accuser will undergo what's known as the Title IX process to ultimately come up with a finding. This process entails an investigation, and potentially a hearing for an institution to dictate, based on the evidence, if the accused is “responsible” for committing a Title IX violation.

What Are Sexually Suggestive Jokes, Catcalls, and Innuendoes?

Sexually suggestive jokes

A joke is characterized as sexually suggestive when it conveys a sexual message. If this joke is directed at a person and is unwanted by them, regardless of intent, it will be considered sexual misconduct.


An innuendo is a hint, insinuation or intimidation concerning a person or thing, especially of a derogatory nature. It can come in the form of a remark or a question.


Catcalling is the act of shouting harassing, threatening, sexually suggestive, or derisive comments at someone publicly. Women, in particular, have recalled the uncomfortable experience of being catcalled in public places for years. College campuses are popular places where this phenomenon repeatedly occurs.

Throughout the Title IX process, it's important for accused students to remember that they are entitled to due process rights. Although most schools are expected to thoroughly adhere to their own policy, sometimes pressure from the Education Department, timing restrictions, and other factors may lead to an unfair process and result. This is why accused students need the help of an attorney advisor to ensure that the process stays equitable and that the school is held accountable if it strays from federal rules.

Nationwide Title IX Advisor

The only way to make sure your voice is heard and your rights are upheld is to retain a student defense attorney. For respondents, especially, the assistance of an attorney advisor is invaluable in the Title IX process. National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has the skill, experience, and expertise to help you preserve your entitled rights under Title IX and your school's policy. For a case evaluation or more information about his representation, contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 today.

Contact Us Today!

If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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