Title IX: Tool for
Government-Imposed Sexualization

On May 26, the Biden Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) postponed the release of a new Title IX rule until October. This is good news for those who care about campus due process and also women’s sports, since Biden’s proposed rules threaten both. 

Title IX is the 1972 federal ban on sex discrimination in schools receiving federal funds. In recent decades, however, it’s been turned on its head and become a weapon for school administrators and federal bureaucrats to expand the definitions of “sex” and “discrimination,” to include things never contemplated by Congress and not supported by the public. For example, “discrimination” was redefined to include the amorphous concept of a “hostile environment” based on sex, where holding a door open for someone could become a discrimination complaint; then sexual misconduct became discrimination; and now “sex” itself is being redefined to include gender ideologies such that objections to drag queens can also become the basis for a Title IX case. 

Hundreds of students and faculty have been railroaded by Title IX as school administrators are not only unsupervised but come almost exclusively from politicized disciplines like “women’s studies” or “gender studies”—that is, they’re angry feminist types with an ax to grind. They also lack basic legal experience. 

Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis called administrators “drunk with power.” Their jobs depend on finding sex discrimination and they often presume guilt and withhold facts and evidence. One student said, “I was falsely accused of sexual assault during my senior year of college . . . and then suspended, though not a single piece of evidence . . . corroborated this claim; every single [witness] testified [in my favor] and the accuser fabricated evidence . . . which was withheld from me until the very last minute . . .” Students found “at fault” are often expelled or are permanently branded as “sex offenders” on their academic record.

Many wrongfully accused students have sued schools for these star chambers and hundreds of courts have ruled in their favor. Trump Education Secretary Betsy Devos addressed this mess, issuing a new rule in 2020 which required due process in all Title IX cases. It also mandated supportive measures to anyone claiming to be a Title IX victim (such as victims of sexual misconduct). Though not perfect, it was sound and balanced and was upheld by every court that reviewed it. 

But the Biden Administration targeted the DeVos rule out of the gate. In early 2021, Biden announced a “comprehensive review” of Title IX policy, though DeVos had just done that. Then in July 2022, Biden proposed a rule to roll back Trump-era due process protections. For example, the rule would allow schools to hold individual meetings in place of formal hearings, but the people in charge are the same angry politicized officials causing all the trouble in the first place. 

Worse, the new rule redefines “sex” to include same-sex orientation and gender ideology such that ethical opposition to homosexual conduct, or a refusal to use pronouns demanded by gender activists, can become a Title IX case.

Biden proposed a second Title IX rule in April to address school-based sports. This proposal would prohibit “categorical bans” on transgender athletes which means the end of single-sex sports—mostly women’s sports. Think Lia Thomas (born William Thomas) the infamous male swimmer who defeated University of Kentucky female swimmer Riley Gaines. Some males claim to be females to compete against women and win, rather than compete against men and lose.

Both proposals have received hundreds of thousands of public comments, which almost certainly explains the announced delay. Americans are not OK with gender ideology or the ruin of women’s athletics and they’re speaking out. 

The country is certainly at a curious crossroads. Since COVID shutdowns shed light on anti-American and pro-sexualization content in schools, parents—especially mothers—are attending school board meetings in droves to stop it: But at least two mothers were not permitted to read aloud from homo-erotic library books at a board meeting because, they were told, the content was inappropriate. Yet these same school boards want that content in the classroom or school libraries. The Title IX connection? When Biden says Title IX protects gender ideology and same-sex orientation, the door is wide open for schools to push heavily sexualized content. It’s government approved. 

And recent talk of book banning is a red herring. That’s a tired trick of the degenerate Left. Like shouts of fire in a crowded theater, obscenity and pornography aren’t free speech (aren’t “protected expression”) and, in fact, violate public decency laws. Parents are well within their rights to demand decency for their kids—both at school and in college. 

Some claim that Biden’s Title IX initiatives embolden the transsexual movement to the point of violence and also desecration of the sacred. Recent events seem to support this claim, including the physical attack on swimmer Riley Gaines last month after she objected to Lia Thomas competing against her, as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ hosting an obscene group posing as Catholic nuns.

June—formerly the month for weddings, and now a month for homosexual “pride”—now also means billion-dollar corporations like Disney, Target, and Kohl’s pile on with the sexualization, especially of kids, with in-your-face door displays that promote homosexuality, as well as children’s clothes encouraging transgenderism. 

This full-spectrum dominance—government, schools, corporations—looks like an order came down from on high. Certainly it’s the opposite of a grassroots demand from the American people. It turns out the elite, court-ordered same-sex marriage decision was not an end but a beginning. One wonders what’s next. Forcing kids or parents into homosexual conduct? Things could get much, much worse. 

Fights by citizens against the Title IX proposals, and by parents against schools, constitute bright spots, however. More resistance is appearing all the time. Just last month, the Walton family of Walmart fame rejected drag queen perversions for kids at its Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Congress should build on this, side with families, and stop Biden from abusing Title IX to impose sexualization on students. Enough with the chaos.

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About Teresa R. Manning

Teresa R. Manning is the policy director at the National Association of Scholars and a former law professor at Scalia Law School, George Mason University.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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