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IWN Staff
June 1, 2023 - 2 minutes
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In 60 Seconds: Title IX, Bostock, And Women’s Sports

*PDF Download: In 60 Seconds – Title IX, Bostock, and Women’s Sports

In 1972, Congress passed Title IX to expand opportunities for women and girls in education. Since then, America has witnessed an explosion of women’s high school and college sports. The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Bostock v. Clayton County, threatens that progress, and puts women’s sports in jeopardy.

Here’s the issue of Title IX, Bostock, and Women’s Sports in 60 seconds:

What’s at Stake:

In 1972, Congress passed Title IX to expand opportunities for women and girls in
education. Since then, America has witnessed an explosion of women’s high school and
college sports. The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Bostock v. Clayton County,
threatens that progress, and puts women’s sports in jeopardy.

If applied to Title IX, Bostock could require (not just allow) schools to let male athletes
play on female teams and against female athletes. For team sports, the result will be
fewer roster spots for women and girls. And, in head-to-head competitions, the result
will be fewer titles and championships for female athletes.

In the realm of athletics, biological sex differences matter. Women have fought long
and hard for equal athletic opportunities. Ignoring the physiological differences
between male-bodied athletes and female-bodied athletes will inevitably erode some
of those gains.

Title IX, Bostock, and Women’s Sports:

Title IX prohibits schools that receive federal money from discriminating “on the basis
of sex.” The statute applies to all aspects of education, including athletics. Title IX’s
regulations allow schools to operate “separate teams for members of each sex.” Given
the competitive advantage that male athletes generally have over female athletes, these
regulations play an important role in expanding athletic opportunities for women and
girls.

Bostock may undo federal regulations and decades of precedent. In Bostock v. Clayton
County, the Supreme Court held that an employment policy that takes biological sex
into consideration is discriminatory—even if it treats members of both sexes equally. If
applied to Title IX, a school that denies a male athlete or a transgender athlete the
opportunity to play on a women’s team discriminates “because of sex” since the
decision would have been different but-for the biological sex of the athlete.

Addressing Misperceptions:

IWN Staff
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