Dept. of Government / CAPS: Why Has Title IX Become so Controversial?


Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 4:30pm to 6:00pm


CGIS Knafel K262, 1737 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA

R. Shep Melnick, Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr., Professor of American Politics, Boston College

Abstract: The original objective of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was to provide equal educational opportunity to women and girls. As the doors of opportunity swung open, women and girls rushed through, outperforming their male counterparts at nearly all educational levels. Yet over the past decade, Title IX has become more controversial than ever. That is because over the past several decades the purpose of federal regulation under Title IX has fundamentally changed. Its primary objective now is counteracting the gender stereotypes adopted not just by students and faculty, but by the public at large. In other words Title IX regulation has become an ambitious effort to change how all of us think about differences between the sexes, gender roles, and sexuality in general. Summarizing evidence presented in his forthcoming Brookings book, The Transformation of Title IX, Melnick will both describe this change and explain the convoluted process that brought it about.

This talk is part of the American Politics Speaker Series, organized by Prof. Jon Rogowski and sponsored by the Harvard Department of Government and the Center for American Political Studies (CAPS). This event is free and open to the public. 

See also: Seminar