Intercollegiate Athletics:

Status of Efforts to Promote Gender Equity

HEHS-97-10: Published: Oct 25, 1996. Publicly Released: Oct 25, 1996.

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Carlotta C. Joyner
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed Department of Education and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) efforts to promote gender equity in intercollegiate athletics by implementing title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, focusing on: (1) steps taken by states to promote gender equity in college athletic programs; and (2) what existing studies show about progress made since 1992 in promoting gender equity in intercollegiate athletics.

GAO found that: (1) since 1992, the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has focused on prevention of title IX violations by clarifying its policies on title IX compliance and increasing technical assistance to help colleges meet title IX requirements while it continues to investigate the relatively few complaints filed each year; (2) NCAA created a task force to examine gender equity issues and now requires certification that athletic programs at all Division I schools meet NCAA-established gender equity requirements; (3) state efforts to promote or ensure gender equity in intercollegiate athletics vary considerably; (4) of the 22 states that reported having laws or other requirements to specifically address gender equity in intercollegiate athletics, 13 reported having full- or part-time staff responsible for gender equity issues; and (5) results from 8 national gender equity studies show gains in the number of women's sports that schools offer, number of female students participating in athletics, and percentage of scholarship funds available to female students, but many women's athletics programs lag behind those for men in the percentage of female head coaches, salaries paid to coaches, and proportion of women athletes to total undergraduate enrollment.

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