Title IX Quick Facts

What is Title IX?
Title IX is a law passed in 1972 that requires gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding.

What is its impact on the WNBA?
  • The WNBA is an indirect result of Title IX legislation, the logical extension of its leveling power beyond school and into the professional ranks.

  • All of the women of the WNBA – and all of the men who enjoy the game or know that their daughters and sisters can grow up dreaming of becoming a professional athlete – are beneficiaries of this legislation.


  • Quick facts:

    There are 10 key areas of Title IX
  • Access to Higher Education

  • Athletics Under Title IX

  • Career Education

  • Education for Pregnant and Parenting Studies

  • Employment

  • Learning Environment

  • Math and Sciences

  • Sexual Harassment

  • Standardized Testing

  • Technology


  • Female Athletics By Age Group
  • Young Girls: For girls in the 6 to 11 age group the number of frequent participants (two or more times per week) in 15 vigorous sports has increased 86% since 1987, from 2 million to 3.8 million.

  • High School: In 1971, 1 in 27 girls participated in high school sports. In 2008, that figure was 1 in 2.4; for boys, the figure has remained constant at 1 in 2 for many years; in 2008, boys’ participation reached 1 in 1.7.

  • College: A 10-year study of 1,895 higher education institutions showed that from 1995 to 2005, female collegiate athletic participation grew by almost 26,000 athletes. In 2008 the average number of women’s teams per school was 8.65. In 1970 this number was 2.5 per school. In 2008 the number of U.S. collegiate women’s teams reached a record high of 9,101.

  • Adults: In 2007, health club membership in the United States stood at 41.5 million, up 139% from 1987, when there were 17.4 million memberships. Of the 41.5 million, adults ages 18-34 made up 33%, ages 35-54 made up 34%, and those 55 and over consisted of 24% of the memberships. (IHRSA/American Sports Data 2007 Health Club Trend Report.)

  • Business: An 11-year contract with ESPN, worth $160 million, expanded coverage of the NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament to include every game beginning in 2002. The deal also includes coverage of Division II basketball, women's soccer, softball, swimming, volleyball and indoor track.


  • By increasing and encouraging participation in sports, Title IX has provided women with the tremendous benefits of sports beyond the playing field
  • Research demonstrates girls who participate in sports and physical activity are more likely than inactive girls to have better emotional and physical health, get better grades, graduate from high school and go on to college.

  • Four of five executive businesswomen played sports growing up, attributing the lessons they learned on the playing field as a key to their success.

  • The legislation is not only responsible for the surge in women’s athletics, it is the reason our society has more women doctors, engineers, judges, political leaders and women in business than it did 40 years ago. Title IX also paved the way for stronger public policy for men and women with impairments, including athletes.



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