The Facts About Title IX

New Title IX rules went into effect on August 14, 2020. Click here to learn about the changes to Title IX and how college sexual misconduct cases will be addressed and adjudicated under the new rules.

When most people hear “Title IX,” they think about sports. That's because the law has frequently been used to demand that women be given the same athletic opportunities as men on college campuses. Some people are in favor of this; some people are opposed. Either way, these kinds of stories make for splashy, memorable headlines.

If you're a student, though, you probably already know that Title IX has another important use: as a mechanism for investigating accusations of sexual misconduct. If anything, its use in this regard is more consequential—and more controversial—than its use in relation to sports. Every president of the last three decades has tried to tinker with the law in one way or another. The Supreme Court has weighed in on multiple occasions. It is one of the most important topics of the Me Too movement.

What is Title IX, though? What does it actually say? How has it been interpreted over its fifty-year history? Most importantly, what does it have to do with you? Until you can answer these questions, you really don't understand this law. And just to give you a bit of a head start, the answer to that last question is “probably far more than you realize.”

Just What is Title IX?