Title IX Explained

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) defines and ensures sex and gender equity in education.

Title IX prohibits all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual assault and harassment, in federally funded education programs. Title IX reads: “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.[1]

Title IX applies to academic programs and extends to Bates sponsored off-campus programs (including Fall Semester Abroad) as well. Though a private institution, Bates receives federal monies to support financial aid packages.

June 23, 2012 marked the 40th anniversary of Title IX. But the need to promote gender equity across programs continues. In April 2011, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights issued a “Dear Colleague” letter, which highlighted Title IX obligations and further stipulated what educational institutions must do to ensure all students are free from the harmful consequences of sex discrimination, including sexual violence.[2]

In brief, Title IX:
  • Prohibits sexual harassment;
  • Prevents discrimination based on pregnancy (e.g., ensures pregnant students have access to education);
  • Provides equal opportunity in athletics;
  • Provides equal opportunity in employment in education fields;
  • Promotes equal attention and a supportive learning environment (e.g., strives to eliminate gender stereotypes in educational materials);
  • Ensures equitable and fair standardized testing; and
  • Promotes equal access to higher education, math and science fields, technology, and vocational education.

Title IX resonates with the principles and mission of Bates College, which strives to ensure equity, access and inclusion. Title IX applies to all employees (administrators, faculty, staff), not just students, at the college. For more information, contact the college’s Title IX Officer:

Gwen Lexow
Title IX Officer


[1] Title IX  20 U.S.C. § 1681 & 34 C.F.R. Part 106 (1972)

[2] http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201104.html