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Title IX: From Opportunity to Stereotyping

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Few laws have had such far-reaching impact as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Intended to give girls and women greater access to sports programs and other courses of study in schools and colleges, the law has since been used by judges and agencies to expand a wide range of antidiscrimination policies—most recently the Obama administration’s 2016 mandates on sexual harassment and transgender rights.

In this lecture, Boston College political science professor R. Shep Melnick analyzed how interpretations of “equal educational opportunity” have changed over the years, and become a major factor in America’s culture wars.


R. Shep Melnick is the Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Professor of American Politics at Boston College and co-chair of the Harvard Program on Constitutional Government. He is the author of two previous books that combine legal, political, and bureaucratic analysis: Regulation and the Courts: The Case of the Clean Air Act and Between the Lines: Interpreting Welfare Rights.