The Biden administration’s new proposed rules for Title IX—a 1972 law that protects women from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities—seeks to expand the definition of sex to include gender identity which means that males who identify as females would also be covered under Title IX.
Sex vs. gender identity
Traditionally, the term “sex,” has been used to refer to the biological characteristics of the human body—male or female reproductive organs—that help identify people as girl/woman or boy/man. Expanding the definition of sex to include gender identity supposes that a person’s innermost concept of self as male, female or something else can be the same or different from one’s physical sex or whether or not one has a “Y” chromosome. This raises huge questions about the fundamental differences in the physiology between males and females and whether it is fair to include transgender females in what has historically been “women’s sports” using Title IX protections.
History of Title IX
Before Title IX came into being 50 years ago, there were a lot of barriers in place that prevented women from progressing or succeeding in society based on sexual discrimination. From not being allowed into “male-only” courses of study, to being barred from some colleges and universities, women were not given the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
By declaring that all K-12 and college educational programs receiving federal financial assistance had to abide by the provisions in Title IX, girls and women had new doors open up for them in admission, academic majors, teaching positions, vocational programs and individual classes, and it helped ensure equal access and treatment once they were in. Title IX is most famous, though, for its impact on women’s sports.
Since athletics are considered an essential part of an educational institution’s program, the law made sure that the athletic interests and abilities of both male and female students would be equally and effectively accommodated. This expanded colleges and universities’ offerings of women-only sports teams, giving women the ability to compete for and benefit from the ability to obtain athletic scholarships. The result has been increased involvement of girls and women in sports and the positive impact it provides at all levels. Pre-Title IX, the ratio of girls and women participating in sports in the United States was one in 27; by 2016, it was one in five.
Who is really harmed?
Since time began, it has been understood that the “Y” chromosome changes the entire physiological makeup of the human body. Those with a “Y” chromosome have higher levels of testosterone, which means increased muscle mass and bone strength as well as larger hearts and lungs regardless of whether or not that individual chooses to identify as a different gender.
Allowing transgender women with these unfair physical advantages in athletic ability to compete in women’s sports and obtain athletic scholarships and accolades does not provide a level playing field, and would cause harm to the same women that Title IX was put in place to protect. Yet the proposed changes to Title IX declare that any effort to prevent a student from participating in an educational activity, including sports, based on their gender identity subjects those students to harm.
Shouldn’t the federal government be not trying to cause harm to anyone by infringing on the rights of others? The proposed changes to Title IX do this in more areas than just athletics.
Other ways Title IX harms
Just as freedom of speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects free expression, in many cases it similarly protects an individual from being required to utter or otherwise express a thought with which that individual disagrees. This is called compelled speech, which Title IX could require.
Under the new regulations, not using the preferred pronouns or name of a student who identifies as transgender may be regarded as a new form of “sex-based harassment” and prosecuted as such. Making non-compliance to these demands an offense under Title IX forces a broad brush acceptance of the ideology that gender is constructed instead of biological and violates individual beliefs based on religion and other factors that there are only two genders—male and female.
To force the acceptance of this controversial ideology, gender theory will be promoted and taught as a scientific fact in schools, encouraging students to question their biological gender and schools to affirm these new gender identities through socially transitioning students—even without the involvement of parents, medical professionals or legal documentation.
Instead of acknowledging the harm this causes in the area of parental rights, Title IX would allow educational entities to label harmful the parents who do not affirm the beliefs of their gender-questioning child, even going so far as calling Child Protective Services on parents who want to uphold their child’s biological reality. This could be decided by a Title IX coordinator even if it is not initiated by the student, as the new rules basically turn Title IX coordinators into federal law enforcement officials with the sweeping authority to file complaints on their own in order to enforce these new mandates.
As a part of the Title IX changes, institutions would be required to permit students to use the school facilities (showers, locker rooms, restrooms, etc.) and overnight accommodations that align with their perceived gender identity and not their biological sex. This will require others to surrender their right to privacy, forcing women to change in front of biological men in locker rooms and men to pee in urinals in front of biological women, and likely increase the instances of sexual harassment or assault at schools.
Isn’t one of the key functions of Title IX supposed to be protecting individuals from sexual harassment instead of putting them in situations where it’s easier for it to occur?
Make a public comment
Whenever there is a proposed rule put on the federal register, it triggers a 60-day comment period in which the public can weigh in on the changes to the law the rule puts forth. The comment period for the adjustments in Title IX began on July 11 and will end on Sept. 12, 2022.
The Department of Education will then review all the comments submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Those wishing to give feedback on the proposed rule should visit the link, click on “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance” that is currently under “What’s Trending,” then click the blue "Comment" box to be directed to the form which needs to be filled out and submitted.
Words have meaning
The main issue that needs to be brought up and addressed in the public comments is this: Do the proposed alterations to Title IX keep the intention of the original law, which was allowing women the same rights and privacy as men using biology (or sex) as the demarcation line?
By swapping out the word or meaning of the word “sex” for “gender identity,” the Biden administration knowingly disadvantages and violates the moral and legal entitlement of actual women, as well as parents looking to direct the care and supervision of their gender-questioning children. All of society will be strong-armed through the force of legal action to acknowledge that gender is not immutable, allowing men who identify as women the ability to override the protections of biological women in favor of their own. The clock will be turned back 50 years as girls and women will return to the same status of “second place” to boys and men in all the unfair areas that Title IX sought to equalize.
Since most K-12 schools and colleges receive the federal funding these mandates are attached to, this proposed rule will impact many. It is extremely important that the federal government hears loud and clear on their public comment page that the presented changes to the letter of the law must not violate the spirit of the Title IX law and the opportunity and equal rights it promised to girls and women.
Public comments on Title IX changes can be submitted directly to the Federal Register. Carbon-copied comments will not be counted. The Federal Register comment page is here: Title IX public comment.
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Lisa Logan is the social emotional learning advisor to Utah Parents United and the host of the YouTube channel Parents of Patriots. Lisa has been featured on numerous podcasts PragerU and Benjamin Boyce. Lisa was interviewed for the CRT documentary Identity Marxism. Follow her work on Twitter @iamlisalogan and on her Substack Education Manifesto.