Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Public Policy and Law

First Advisor

Adrienne Fulco


This thesis examines the extent to which Title IX has fulfilled its original promise of establishing gender equity between men and women in intercollegiate athletics. To evaluate the OCR’s commitment to establishing gender equity in intercollegiate athletics, the evolution of Title IX from 1972-2020 is provided, demonstrating a disconnect between Title IX’s intent in 1972 and how it is interpreted and enforced today by the OCR. The OCR’s Three-Part Test is analyzed by each prong’s ability to establish and measure gender equity, revealing the test’s inconsistency with the core intent of Title IX, as well as the OCR’s nonexistent enforcement of discriminatory practices despite the lack of institutional compliance. The substantial lack of equitable opportunities for female athletes, a consequence of both the OCR’s unreliable interpretations and enforcement of Title IX, is demonstrated through analysis of institutional fulfillment of Title IX scholarship and Three-Prong Test requirements. To further investigate the deviation of Title IX interpretations from the legislation’s original purpose, the effect of political ideology on Title IX policy is analyzed, demonstrating the politicization of Title IX over the course of six presidential administrations. Overall, this thesis reveals Title IX’s immense progress in establishing greater athletic opportunities for women, as well as the lack of institutional compliance, due to the OCR’s inconsistent commitment to providing nondiscriminatory athletic opportunities for all athletes. Ultimately, a five-point policy is proposed to update Title IX guidance and incentivize robust enforcement, consistent with the core value of the legislation.