Title IX Policy and Intercollegiate Athletics: A Feminist Poststructural Critique

Jennifer Lee Hoffman, Susan V. Iverson, Elizabeth J. Allan, Rebecca Ropers-Huilman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Few policies in higher education garner as much attention from campus leaders, students, parents, government agencies, and the general public as Title IX. This legislation was originally developed by Edith Green (D-OR) and Patsy Mink (DHI) (later joined by advocate Birch Bayh, D-IN) to ensure women equity in medical and law school admissions. Since its inception in 1972, Title IX policy has also removed barriers to women’s participation in intercollegiate athletics. Yet, its application in college sports continues to receive mixed responses. It is praised for the opportunities given to women student-athletes, but is also largely viewed as a policy that takes athletic opportunity away from men to make room for women. Often the dialogue in the press, on campus, and in the courtroom is focused on monitoring the number of participants and gauging interest in athletic participation among women students. The impact of Title IX policy on intercollegiate athletics is more complex than simply “counting ponytails” to maintain a proportional balance between student-athletes and the student body based on gender (Suggs, 2007). This chapter describes how the use of a feminist poststructural (FPS) analysis of Title IX illuminates the ways in which Title IX policy can simultaneously reinforce and disrupt the relationship between athletic programs’ mission and purpose and those of universities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationReconstructing Policy in Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationFeminist Poststructural Perspectives
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781135197988
ISBN (Print)9780415997768
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2010 Taylor & Francis.


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