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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Title IX’s effects on female participation in high school sports—United States, 1971—2003

Angela K. McGowan, JD, MPH1, Robert A. Hahn, PhD, MPH1, and Anindya K. De, MStat, MS, PhD2. (1) Community Guide Branch/DPRAM/EPO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, K-73, Atlanta, GA 30341, 770-488-8210, amcgowan@cdc.gov, (2) DAPHT, EPO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, D-18, Atlanta, GA 30333

Background: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) forbids discrimination in federally funded education programs, including sports programs. This study explores the effects of the implementation of Title IX on high school girls’ sports participation at the national and state level as a means of increasing physical activity and associated health benefits.

Methods: We analyzed the National Federation of High School Associations’ sports participation data from 1971—2003 to assess changes in female compared with male participation by using permutation-based segmented regression analysis, adjusted for autocorrelation. We used generalized estimating equations to determine if events related to implementation (the law’s passage, administrative regulations, established implementation dates, related case law, or specific state laws) were associated with change in relative participation.

Results: Title IX passed in June 1972, with regulations issued July 1975 and full compliance required within 3 years. In preliminary calculations, the ratio of girls’ participation to boys’ increased six-fold, from 0.08 in 1971—72 to 0.50 in 1978—79, but thereafter increased more gradually to 0.72 (2002—03). Four distinct slopes were observed with significant differences between consecutive pairs (p<0.001); changes occurred at 1973—74, 1978—79 and 1989—90.

Conclusions: Since just before the passage of Title IX, girls’ participation in high school sports increased dramatically. At first review, timing of change in girls’ participation compared with boys’ does not suggest that Title IX has a simple direct causal relationship with participation levels. Changes may be related to broader legal, historical, and social factors.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Physical Activity, Public Health Legislation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Physical Activity in the Nation's Schools

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA