Beyond the Classroom: Using Title IX to Measure the Return to High School Sports
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, known as “Title Nine,” requires funding equity for boys’ and girls’ athletic programs in institutions that receive federal funding. To comply with the act, by 1978 U.S. high schools increased their female sports participation significantly, from 4% in 1972 to 25% four years later. Boys’ participation was stable during this period at about 50%, indicating that female athletic opportunities did not come at the expense of male opportunities in this early period.
While the act was effective in increasing women’s participation in sports, the question remained open as to its effect on their lives once they left school. A 2010 paper by the University of Michigan for the National Bureau of Economic Research paper, “Beyond the Classroom: Using Title IX to Measure the Return to High School Sports,” finds significant positive effects from Title IX on women’s education and employment.
Key findings include:
- The return to participating in high school sports for women is similar to that of men. On average, those who participate in sports receive 0.4 years more education and 8% higher wages.
- Analysis revealed that a 10% rise in state-level female sports participation generates a 1% increase in female college attendance, a 1% to 2% rise in female labor force participation, and greater female participation in previously male-dominated, high-skill occupations.
Title IX may explain about 20% of the rise in female educational attainment during the period, the researcher notes. In addition, up to 40% of the overall rise in the employment of women ages 25 to 34 years old may be attributed to Title IX.
Tags: sports, higher education, civil rights, exercise
Read the study-related New York Times article titled "As Girls Become Women, Sports Pay Dividends."
- Reporter's use of the study: Evaluate what the reporter chose to include and exclude from the study. Would the audience have acquired a clear understanding of the study's findings and limits from this article?
- Reporter's use of other material: Assess the material in the article that is not derived from the study. (for example: Does the reporter place the study in the context of other research and to what effect? Does the reporter include reactions to the study from other researchers or interested parties [e.g., political groups business leaders, or community members] and are their credentials or possible biases made clear?)
Read the full National Bureau of Economic Research study titled "Beyond the Classroom: Using Title IX to Measure the Return to High School Sports."
- Summarize the study in fewer than 40 words.
- Express the study's key term(s) in language a lay audience can understand.
- Evaluate the study's limitations. (For example: Do the results conflict with those of other reliable studies? Are there weaknesses in the study's data or research design?)
- Write a lead (or headline or nut graph) based on the study.
- Spend 60 minutes exploring the issue by accessing sources of information other than the study. Write a lead (or headline or nut graph) based on the study but informed by the new information. Does the new information significantly change what one would write based on the study alone?
- Interview two sources with a stake in or knowledge of the issue. Be prepared to provide them with a short summary of the study in order to get their response to it. Write a 400-word article about the study incorporating material from the interviews.
- Spend additional time exploring the issue and then write a 1,200-word background article, focusing on major aspects of the issue.