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Elizabeth Osborne, Senior Legal Reference Librarian, Law Library of Congress
Jason Zarin, Legal Reference Specialist, Law Library of Congress
Barbara Bavis, Bibliographic and Research Instruction Librarian, Law Library of Congress
Anna Price, Senior Legal Reference Librarian, Law Library of Congress
Created: January 20, 2022
Last Updated: June 21, 2022
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance[.]" 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a).
Fifty years ago, Congress passed a landmark piece of legislation, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (PDF). Typically referred to simply as "Title IX," the law as amended (20 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq.) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational institutions and programs receiving federal funding. Many people are familiar with Title IX's impact on sex equity in school sports; however, it applies to all activities at any educational institution—public and private, from pre-school through graduate school—receiving federal funding. Title IX also prohibits denial of admission to education programs and activities on the basis of blindness or visual impairment.
On June 19, 2002, Representative Mink reflected on Title IX and her personal connection to the cause:
"I want to say I have a very personal connection with title IX because while I was wanting to go to medical school in my time and I had written to a dozen or more medical schools to seek entry, each one of them turned me down by saying that they did not admit women to their schools. It came to me as quite a shock that in America it was not a person's grade, aptitude, tests, recommendations that got the person into the careers of their choice, but that it had to do with one's gender. So it appalled me. I did not know whether to resign myself to that situation or not. I had finished college. I did not have a place to go, had no real insights as to what I was going to do with the rest of my life.
"I got a job at an art academy as assistant director, and the director said to me, do not give up, there is something there you can go to. So this is how I came to title IX. I was determined that no other young woman in this country should ever have to endure the kinds of frustrations and injustice that I had to face while I was trying to find my place in this great democracy."