This year, the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights formally reminded schools, colleges and universities that Title IX prohibits sexual harassment and sexual violence.

The Year in Review –

Posted: 12/30/11 03:12 PM ET


As 2011 comes to a close, it seems almost nonsensical to have to mention, let alone devote an article to, gender barriers. While women have made great strides, we still have a long way to go. Given the struggle to maintain our place as a leader in the global economy, why would anyone want to place any kind of barrier in front of women (or men) who could help our country compete in the world marketplace?

This next election will determine not only the presidency but also several critical House and Senate seats. We know that some of the biggest wins and losses of 2011 were on matters that will significantly affect our future, so it is important that we consider them as we examine the candidates, their records, and their promises. There are many issues at stake for women and their families.

A terrible decision: The U.S. Supreme Court’s sharply divided decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes prevented the courageous women of Wal-Mart from taking on America’s largest private employer as a nationwide class-action group, leaving each employee to file her claim individually or in smaller, reformulated classes. Not only is this a tremendous, and in most cases unaffordable, financial burden on low-wage earners, but such legal fragmentation means that the same issue will come before numerous courts across the country, likely with varying results. However, despite this setback, we remain undeterred. After all, we know that the U.S. Supreme Court can be wrong — just ask fair pay icon Lilly Ledbetter.

Not just an adult problem: While sexual harassment hurts everyone, girls are disproportionately affected. Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School, our groundbreaking research report, found that just 12 percent of the girls surveyed who were sexually harassed reported it. Boys who experienced sexual harassment at school were even less likely to report it — only five percent did so. This year, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights formally reminded schools, colleges and universities that Title IX prohibits sexual harassment and sexual violence. The department also reminded those institutions that they are responsible for stopping, fixing, and preventing bullying. But we still need Congress to address harassment and bullying to ensure a safe learning environment for all students. Children cannot learn if they do not feel safe.

Still earning cents to their dollars: Congress remains regrettably idle on the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would, among other things, give businesses incentives to pay women fairly. Meanwhile, newspaper headlines misleadingly report that young women are out-earning their male counterparts. What they don’t tell you is how narrowly defined those studies are. I invite these writers to tell the average woman one year out of college why she already makes less than men in similar jobs with similar educational backgrounds. This is an economic issue that affects all of us, not only women but also the quality of life and buying power of their families. Congress needs to act responsibly and pass this legislation.

A surprising blow: The Obama administration stunned women’s health advocates and abortion opponents alike by blocking the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of selling over-the-counter emergency contraception. Along with the rest of the women’s rights community, AAUW expected the Obama administration to approve the sale of Plan B contraception — commonly referred to as the morning-after pill — without requiring a prescription. Let me be clear: our stance is not pro-abortion; it’s pro-choice. A woman cannot be reduced to little more than a walking uterus. This administration’s stated commitment to follow science instead of politics when making decisions was clearly not in evidence here, a disheartening development.

Challenges to family planning services: House Republicans tried to eliminate the Title X family planning program, which provides reproductive services to millions of low-income women. Despite widespread support, it appears that the program will likely come under fire next year –but AAUW will continue to defend this critical program. Republicans also banned the District of Columbia from using its own taxpayer money to fund abortions for low-income women. It concerns me that the deal was struck with President Obama’s consent. This ban was enacted in the spring budget deal and was reaffirmed again this month. AAUW opposes this ban and will keep advocating for women’s full reproductive health choices.

A victory in Mississippi: Voters in the Magnolia State defeated a ballot initiative that would have declared that life begins at fertilization, which supporters saw as a legislative foothold from which to launch a challenge to reproductive rights nationwide. The so-called “personhood” initiative was rejected by more than 55 percent of voters, falling far short of the threshold for enactment. Mississippi voters clearly demonstrated that reproductive rights are valued over extreme policies.

A step in the right direction: The Federal Bureau of Investigation will be updating its definition of rape to include both male and female victims and to include sexual assaults in which drugs or alcohol are used to incapacitate victims. The current federal definition, in place since 1929, is narrower than the one used by many local police departments. The current law’s focus on only physical violence leads to the under-counting of thousands of sexual assaults each year. Sexual violence is a pervasive social problem, and we need to integrate greater sensitivity and accuracy into reporting sex crimes.

Sparking important dialogue: Whether you love or hate the name, SlutWalks started important conversations all across the country — women to society, generation to generation, survivor to survivor. Coined in Canada, this tongue-in-cheek name underscores how labels and stereotypes mask the true harm victims experience. SlutWalk’s anti-victimization message has gained momentum in communities around the world.

Out of the driver’s seat: The two-decade-old campaign for driving rights for Saudi Arabian women continued this year without a happy resolution. It’s difficult to celebrate women’s rights when so many women around the world are excluded from full participation in society. Gaining the right to drive would be both a tribute to the tenacious women of Saudi Arabia and a beacon for women everywhere who are still demanding equal rights. A special note: our hearts go out to Middle Eastern women who have been on the front lines of the Arab Spring movement, especially now as Egyptian women are fighting for democracy with their own blood.

And the winners are: This year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three women’s rights activists — Africa’s first elected female head of state, a Liberian peace activist, and a human rights activist from Yemen.

In addition, U.S. girls swept all three age categories at the Google Science Fair, a far cry from generations past when women were not only excluded from scientific pursuits but told they could not succeed in such fields.

Can you hear us now? Women, yet again, have the power to make a difference in the 2012 election. Efforts such as AAUW’s voter education and mobilization campaign, It’s My Vote. I Will Be Heard, will engage women across the country to speak out at the polls. Our voices have been and always will be critical to the success of the United States and to the world at large. It only makes sense to organize, mobilize, and make some noise next year. We hope you’ll join us in speaking out.

That’s our list. What are your biggest moments for women this year?



How the News Media Peddle Junk Science

American Journalism Review
From AJR,   December 2011  issue

How the News Media Peddle Junk Science

Mon., December 12, 2011

By Caryl Rivers & Rosalind C. Barnett Boston University journalism professor Caryl Rivers ( and Rosalind C. Barnett, senior scientist at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center are the co-authors of “The Truth About Girls and Boys: Challenging Toxic Stereotypes About our Children.”

The idea that the brains of girls and boys are so different that they should be parented and educated in different ways and steered towards very different careers is one of the most successfully promoted media narratives of the decade.

A small group of advocates have pushed this notion so hard that it’s become the conventional wisdom. They write best-selling books, speak to large groups of teachers, parents and school administrators, and are quoted – endlessly and usually uncriticallyŻby the news media. They claim that due to vast differences between boys and girls, the single sex classroom will improve children’s academic achievement.

But it’s not true.

In September, the journal Science ran an article by eight prominent scientists titled “The Pseudoscience of Single-Sex Schooling.” They argue that “There is no well-designed research showing that single-sex (SS) education improves students’ academic performance, but there is evidence that sex segregation increases gender stereotyping and legitimizes institutional sexism.” The lead author on the piece was professor Diane Halpern of Claremont McKenna College, past president of the American Psychological Association.

The Science authors, prominent psychologists or neuroscientists, find the performance of the news media sorely lacking. “Novelty-based enthusiasm, sample bias, and anecdotes account for much of the glowing characterization of SS education in the media,” they write.

“Factoids” promoted by advocates keep appearing in news stories around the world, even though good science has disproved or critiqued them. In the past few years, the news media have promoted a series of myths that, as it turns out, have little evidence behind them. As more misinformation is reported, the false narrative of great differences grows stronger. Here are a few of the myths that power this narrative:

•Myth: Research shows great differences in the brains of boys and girls; children should be taught in single sex classrooms. The campaign for segregating public schools by gender is led by Leonard Sax, founder and executive director of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education, and by best-selling author Michael Gurian (“The Wonder of Boys”) who heads the Gurian Institute. They keep aggressively promoting the “science” that supposedly calls for separating boys and girls. They are media darlings, endlessly quoted in news stories, with little or no skepticism. Sax has been on NBC’s “Today,” CNN’s “American Morning” and numerous other national shows, and a LexisNexis search of major newspapers turned up nearly a thousand references. Michael Gurian’s Web site says he has been featured in major media, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Educational Leadership, Time “Today,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CNN, PBS and NPR.

•Fact: Even though Gurian, Sax and others tout great gender differences as scientific truth, most scientists disagree. Lise Eliot, associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School, did an exhaustive review of the scientific literature on human brains from childhood to adolescence and concluded there is “surprisingly little evidence of sex differences in children’s brains.” Eliot was one of the authors of the Science article and the author of “Pink Brain, Blue Brain.” Cordelia Fine, a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience and research fellow at the University of Melbourne, finds dressed up as science in the news media propagating a dangerous new conventional wisdom. She refers to much of the gender-difference theories in the popular media as “neurosexism.”

•Myth: Boys are biologically programmed to focus on objects, predisposing them to math and understanding systems, while girls are programmed to focus on people and feelings. British psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen claims that the male brain is the “systematizing brain” while the female brain is the “empathizing” brain. He has been quoted in the New York Times, in a Newsweek cover story, in a PBS documentary and in countless other major media outlets. Parents magazine decreed as fact, “Girls prefer dolls (to blocks and balls)…because girls pay more attention to people while boys are more enthralled with mechanical objects.”

This idea was based on a study of day-old babies, which found that the boys looked at mobiles longer and the girls looked at faces longer. Male brains, Baron-Cohen says, are ideally suited for leadership and power. They are hardwired for mastery of hunting and tracking, trading, achieving and maintaining power, gaining expertise, tolerating solitude, using aggression and taking on leadership roles.

And what of the female brain? It is specialized for making friends, mothering, gossip, and “reading” a partner. Girls and women are so focused on others that they have little interest in figuring out how the world works.

•Fact: Baron-Cohen’s study had major problems. It was an “outlier” study. No one else has replicated these findings, including Baron-Cohen himself. It is so flawed as to be almost meaningless. Why?

The experiment lacked crucial controls against experimenter bias and was badly designed. Female and male infants were propped up in a parent’s lap and shown, side by side, an active person or an inanimate object. Since newborns can’t hold their heads up independently, their visual preferences could well have been determined by the way their parents held them.

Cordelia Fine says there’s little evidence for the idea of a male brain hardwired to be good at understanding the world and a female brain hardwired to understand people. There is a much literature flat-out contradicting Baron-Cohen’s study, providing evidence that male and female infants tend to respond equally to people and objects, notes Elizabeth Spelke, codirector of Harvard’s Mind/Brain/Behavior Inter-faculty Initiative. But media stories continue to promote the idea of very different brains.

•Myth: Boys have inherently weaker verbal skills than girls. They should be given “informational texts” to read instead of the classics or any material containing emotion, which they aren’t good at either. The media swallow this idea uncritically:

The New Republic: a “verbally drenched curriculum” is “leaving boys in the dust.”

National Review: Without “action-packed narratives..boys will be bored, disaffected and disruptive.”

The Hartford Courant:”Because boys don’t want to read books from beginning to end, informational texts are ideal.”

•Fact: Overall, there are virtually no differences in verbal abilities between girls and boys. In 2005, University of Wisconsin psychologist Janet Hyde synthesized data from 165 studies on verbal ability and gender. They revealed a female superiority so slight as to be meaningless.

Boys have a just-about-equal aptitude for reading and writing, but their actual performance can suffer if they are not encouraged to read or are given unchallenging material. The more the news media run stories about boys not being “hardwired” for reading, the more parents and teachers will believe it.

•Myth: Females are the talkative sex while males are naturally strong and silent. This idea plays into the whole theory that men and boys are not naturally good or comfortable with words, at which girls and women excel. In her bestseller “The Female Brain,” author Louann Brizendene claimed that a woman uses 20,000 words per day, while a man uses only 7,000. Brizendine’s book got incredible media play, including on ABC’s “20/20” and “Good Morning America.” a Q and A in the New York Times Magazine Ideas Issue, Newsweek, O, The Oprah Magazine, a front page article in the San Francisco Chronicle and pieces in the Los Angeles Times, Toronto Star, Baltimore Sun, St Louis Post-Dispatch, Columbus Dispatch, Oakland Tribune and more. Hardly any news stories mentioned the fact that the authoritative British journal Nature savaged the book, saying it “fails to meet even the most basic standards of scientific accuracy and balance,” is “riddled with scientific errors” and “is misleading about the processes of brain development, the neuroendocrine system, and the nature of sex differences in general.”

•Fact:James Pennebaker, chairman of the psychology department at the University of Texas at Austin, coauthored a seven-year study of men’s and women’s speech. Of the male-female gap, he says, “It’s been a common belief, but it just didn’t fit.” In fact, both men and women use approximately 16,000 words a day.

•Myth: Women use both sides of their brain more symmetrically than men. The larger corpus callosum in women explains female intuition and the ability to “multitask” and tune in to emotions. Brizendene made this claim, as did stories in Parents’ Magazine, the Daily Telegraph, the Ottawa Citizen, Cleveland’s Plain Dealer, Elle magazine, the New York Times and many, many more.

•Fact. A meta-analysis of 49 studies found no significant sex differences in the size or shape of the corpus callosum. Lise Eliot says, ” For the record: the corpus callosum does not differ between boys and girls.”

Another media myth that is rapidly taking shape is the idea that we are seeing “The End of Men’ as males lose power and women take over. An Atlantic cover piece with that title (which generated an upcoming book) goes so far as to suggest that women will replace men in the “broad striving middle class” that defines society and provides leaders.

Is this true? Not really. The research group Catalyst reports that among graduates of elite MBA programs around the world, “women continue to lag men at every single career stage, right from their first professional jobs. Reports of progress in advancement, compensation, and career satisfaction are at best overstated, at worst just plain wrong.” A Sloan Foundation-funded report puts it this way: “Women lead in College but not in the Workforce.” “Women’s earnings, relative to those of men, have not kept up with their gains in educational attainment. Part of this difference reflects the higher concentration of men in higher-paying fields, including the natural and physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering. At the college level, fewer women than men take courses in science-related fields.”

The “End of Men” scare stories are predicated on the female edge in college classes, but if the past is any guide, women will continue to lead in college but not in the workforce.

* * *

Media stories are not just written on the wind. They can have enormous staying power. In 1980, stories about a male “math gene” were rampant in the news media. A study of highly gifted math students in a special program found that boys outperformed girls.

Since both sexes shared the same classrooms, it was suggested that girls’ poorer scores must be due to their genetic makeup, not to cultural factors. But critics pointed out that boys and girls did not share the same experiences. Parents of talented boys bought their sons special toys and books to heighten their math skills and encouraged them to pursue the field. Parents of talented girls, on the other hand, did not take such actions. The “math gene” faded from scientific view. But a longitudinal study published by University of Michigan researchers five years later found that the math gene notion had legs. Mothers who knew about the articles lowered their expectations of their daughters’ math capabilities.

Sadly, the news media are suckers for people who oversimplify science, creating opportunities for sexy headlines and nifty graphics. As Mark Liberman, a University of Pennsylvania linguist, notes: “You can do it too, if you wantŻjust choose phenomena that emphasize differences, leaving out the ones where the sexes are more similar; pick studies that find stereotypic differences, leaving out the ones whose results disagree; and in all cases, talk and write as if (even relatively small) differences in group averages were essential characteristics of every member of each group.”

Then peddle your wares to the news media. All too often, you’ll find an uncritical audience that will help you spread scientific nonsense.


Inclusive Athletics

Inclusive Athletics

September 16, 2011

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has clarified its policies on when transgender athletes can compete, largely embracing the recommendations of advocacy groups and making clear the circumstances under which a transitioning male can play on a female team, and vice versa.

“There was pretty much unanimous endorsement,” said Mary Wilfert, the NCAA associate director in health and safety. “It is a significant move.”

The new policy, which embraced the suggestions in the 2010 report from the National Center on Lesbian Rights and the Women’s Sports Foundation, ensures that athletes are allowed to participate on male or female teams, so long as they adhere to two key rules. The policy required no new legislation but rather clarified two pieces of existing legislation regarding banned substances – namely, testosterone — and

The final policy states that: “A trans male (female to male) student-athlete who has received a medical exception for treatment with testosterone for gender transition may compete on a men’s team, but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing the team status to a mixed team. A mixed team is eligible only for men’s championships. A trans female (male to female) student-athlete being treated with testosterone suppression medication for gender transition may continue to compete on a men’s team, but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one calendar year of documented testosterone-suppression treatment.”

Helen Carroll, director of the NCLR Sports Project, worked closely with the NCAA to develop this policy and said that while the change is not unexpected, the group applauds it.

“The NCAA has been looking at transgender athletes — the issues, the situations — for a number of years,” Carroll said. The topic certainly has the potential to be controversial, she said. But dating to a 2009 meeting on how to address transgender student athletes, “There just was not pullback. There was an acknowledgment that the time has come to examine this issue.”

Until this month, the NCAA had left it up to colleges to decide things such as how to count transgender athletes when reporting participation rates, or whether to allow them to compete on the team whose gender they identified with.

In November, the issue came to the forefront when Kye Allums, a George Washington University junior and player on the women’s basketball team, publicly announced that he is a transgender man – and, many believe, the first transgender man to play Division I college basketball. The following month, the NCAA’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports proposed for the first time that the organization offer some guidance on when transgender athletes should be allowed to compete alongside players of the gender they identify with. That proposal, and the policy the NCAA adopted this month, largely followed what the advocacy groups recommended nearly a year ago.

“As a core value, the NCAA believes in and is committed to diversity, inclusion and gender equity among its student-athletes, coaches and administrators,” Karen Morrison, the NCAA’s director of inclusion, wrote in a memo to NCAA member institutions. “Since participation in athletics provides student-athletes a unique and positively powerful experience, the goals of these policies are to create opportunity for transgender student-athletes to participate in accordance with their gender identity while maintaining the relative balance of competitive equity within sports teams.”

The NCAA has published a number of resources to guide member institutions on issues related to LGBT athletes, including a new booklet on transgender athletes and inclusion. Wilfert said the association has received “probably about 30 or 40 inquiries in the last three years” from colleges asking questions about transgender or anti-discrimination policies.

With the policies and educational materials in place, the first step in tackling this issue has been accomplished, Carroll said. But now the NCAA and others need to work with athletic leaders, she said, to make sure they understand transgender athletes — what it means, for instance, for a transitioning female to play on a women’s team.

“Are there still going to be barriers? Yes. The biggest barrier is that there’s a lot of education that needs to be done. We’re on the path to do it, but it’s not completed yet,” Carroll said. “The transgender athletes know that they can step forward now. But I don’t think any of us who are not transgender can even imagine the amount of courage it takes to step forward and say, ‘I’m transgender, can you let me play?’ ”

— Allie Grasgreen


Girls are no worse than boys at maths: Study in 86 countries shows differences caused by attitudes to women

Girls are no worse than boys at maths: Study in 86 countries shows differences caused by attitudes to women
Read more:

The study used data from schools in 86 countries - it's the first major study to include so many non-Western societies - and concluded that differences in mathematical ability were due to unequal societies, not unequal biology

The study used data from schools in 86 countries – it’s the first major study to include so many non-Western societies – and concluded that differences in mathematical ability were due to unequal societies, not unequal biology

Scientists have previously believed that the relatively low numbers of women in high-level mathematics could be due to biological differences between men and women.

But a new, international study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has cast doubt on the idea that the differences are biological at all.

Previous studies tended to focus on a limited range of countries – whereas the new study observed school-level mathematical performance in 86 countries.

The differences in performance seemed to be caused by social factors – ie, each society’s attitude to women.

‘People have looked at international data for many years’, says Janet Mertz, senior author of the study and a professor of oncology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

‘What has changed is that many more non-Western countries are now participating, enabling much better cross-cultural analysis.’

The new study, by Mertz and Jonathan Kane, a professor of mathematical and computer sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, was published today in Notices of the American Mathematical Society.

‘We found that boys — as well as girls — tend to do better in maths when raised in countries where females have better equality, and that’s new and important,’ says Kane.

‘It makes sense that when women are well-educated and earn a good income, the maths scores of their children of both genders benefit.’

Playground at a girls school in Bahrain: Previous studies had suggested that Muslim societies' single-sex schools allowed girls to flourish mathematically - but Bahraini boys may have low maths scores because some attend religious schools Playground at a girls school in Bahrain: Previous studies had suggested that Muslim societies’ single-sex schools allowed girls to flourish mathematically – but Bahraini boys may have low maths scores because some attend religious schools

‘This is not a matter of biology.We found that boys — as well as girls — tend to do better in maths when raised in countries where females have better equality,’ said the researchers

‘This is not a matter of biology: None of our findings suggest that an innate biological difference between the sexes is the primary reason for a gender gap in math performance at any level. Rather, these major international studies strongly suggest that the maths gender gap, where it occurs, is due to cultural factors that differ among countries – and that these factors can be changed.’

One hypothesis, expounded by Lawrence Summers, President of Harvard in 2005, suggested that male mathematical ability ‘varied more greatly’ at both ends of the scale – ie there were better male mathematicians at the top end, and worse ones at the bottom end.

The study looked at data from 86 countries, which the authors used to test the ‘greater male variability hypothesis’ famously expounded in 2005 by Lawrence Summers, then president of Harvard, as the primary reason for the scarcity of outstanding women mathematicians.

But, using the international data, the Wisconsin authors observed that greater male variation in math achievement is not present in some countries, and is mostly due to boys with low scores in some other countries, indicating that it relates much more to culture than to biology.

The new study relied on data from the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and the 2009 Programme in International Student Assessment.

The Wisconsin study also debunked the idea proposed by Steven Levitt of ‘Freakonomics’ fame that gender inequity does not hamper girls’ math performance in Muslim countries, where most students attend single-sex schools.

Levitt claimed to have disproved a prior conclusion of others that gender inequity limits girls’ mathematics performance. He suggested, instead, that Muslim culture or single-sex classrooms benefit girls’ ability to learn mathematics.

By examining the data in detail, the Wisconsin authors noted other factors at work.

‘The girls living in some Middle Eastern countries, such as Bahrain and Oman, had, in fact, not scored very well, but their boys had scored even worse, a result found to be unrelated to either Muslim culture or schooling in single-gender classrooms,’ says Kane.

He suggests that Bahraini boys may have low average math scores because some attend religious schools whose curricula include little mathematics.

Also, some low-performing girls drop out of school, making the tested sample unrepresentative of the whole population.

‘For these reasons, we believe it is much more reasonable to attribute differences in maths performance primarily to country-specific social factors,’ Kane says.

To measure the status of females relative to males within each country, the authors relied on a gender-gap index, which compares the genders in terms of income, education, health and political participation.

Relating these indices to math scores, they concluded that math achievement at the low, average and high end for both boys and girls tends to be higher in countries where gender equity is better.

In addition, in wealthier countries, women’s participation and salary in the paid labor force was the main factor linked to higher maths scores for both genders.

One proposed solution, creating single-sex classrooms, is not supported by the data.

Instead, Mertz and Kane recommend increasing the number of math-certified teachers in middle and high schools, decreasing the number of children living in poverty and ensuring gender equality.

‘These changes would help give all children a chance to succeed,’ says Mertz.



From the Feminist Majority Foundation


The following listings include a variety (though not all) of online links to organizations and resources that provide information about the scope and implementation of Title IX and related gender equity in education issues. Many of the web sites allow for specific searching on Title IX.


American Association of University Women (AAUW)

The American Association of University Women is a national membership organization that promotes education and equity for all women and girls. It focuses on research on women and education, helping recipients of sex discrimination in higher education, and federal policies impacting women. In addition to promoting educational equity for women and girls, the AAUW also conducts research on sexual harassment and sex discrimination in higher education.


American Civil Liberties Union, Women’s Rights Project

The American Civil Liberties Union, Women’s Rights Project works to secure gender equality and ensure that all women and girls are able to lead lives of dignity, free from violence, and discrimination. The ACLU addresses gender-based discrimination and inequalities including education, employment, housing, and health, as well as issues of race, class, income, and immigration status.


American Council for Coeducational Schooling (ACCES)

www.coedschools or

The American Council for Coeducational Schooling members are experts who work with educators, families, and communities to promote and improve coeducation from preschool through higher education. They share research-based information on the advantages of CoEd schooling for students and teachers and why single-sex schooling is harmful.


American Educational Research Association, Special Interest Group: Research on Women and Education

This Research on Women and Education is a membership group within AERA. It focuses on research related to women and girls in education at the intersection of race, class, and gender through AERA meeting sessions, newsletters, and annual Fall conferences.


American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

AFT is an organization affiliated with the AFL-CIO that represents 1 million teachers, school support staff, higher education faculty and staff, and state and municipal employees. AFT has a human and civil rights division that addresses Title IX and gender equity issues.


American Psychological Association, Division 35: Society for the Psychology of Women

The division for the Society and Psychology of Women provides a base for women and men interested in the teaching, research, or practice of the psychology of women. It recognizes the diversity of women’s experience (e.g. ethnicity, culture, language, socioeconomic status, age, and sexual orientation), and applies its scholarship to transforming the knowledge base of psychology.


Association for Gender Equity Leadership in Education (AGELE)

A membership organization, previously known as the National Coalition for Sex Equity in Education (NCSEE), that provides leadership in the identification and infusion of gender equity in all educational programs and processes and within parallel equity concerns such as disability, race, national origin, and sexual orientation.


Association for Women in Science (AWIS)

AWIS is an organization for women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA)

ATIXA is a professional association for school and college Title IX Coordinators and administrators who are interested in serving their districts and campuses more effectively. Its members are encouraged to participate in ATIXA courses to certify Title IX coordinators and to share information and best practices.


California Women’s Law Center

The California Women’s Law Center works to ensure, through systematic change, that life opportunities for women and girls are free from unjust social, economic and political constraints.


Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice was created following the ratification of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, and works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans. The Division enforces federal statues prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, familial status, and national origin.


Equity Assistance Centers, Funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education 2011-2014
Please contact these Civil Rights Act Title IV equity assistance centers serving your state. These centers provide technical assistance, training, and resources on education equity issues related to gender, race, and national origin to state departments of education, local educational agencies, and schools upon request.

  • Region I: The New England Equity Assistance Center (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)

  • Region II: The Equity Assistance Center, Touro College, Lander Center for Education Research (New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands)

  • Region III: The Mid-Atlantic Equity Center (MAC) at the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc. (Delaware, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia)

  • Region IV: Southeastern Equity Center (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee)   

  • Region V: Great Lakes Equity Center at Indiana University (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin)

  • Region VI: South Central Collaborative for Equity Intercultural Development Research Association (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas)   

  • Region VII: Midwest Equity Assistance Center (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska)  

  • Region VIII: Metropolitan State College of Denver Equity Assistance Center (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming)

  • Region IX: WestEd Equity Assistance Center (Arizona, California, and Nevada)

  • Region X: Education Northwest Equity Assistance Center (Alaska, American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Republic of Palau, and Washington)


Feminist Majority Foundation

An organization committed to achieving political, economic, and social equality for girls and boys, women and men. The education equality program provides information about Title IX and current legislation and research concerning gender equity issues in education. It also has a list of state Title IX Coordinators and information on risks related to sex segregation in public schools.


Gender Diversities & Technology Institute

The Gender, Diversities and Technology Institute at the Education Development Center (EDC) is a learning exchange focusing on gender-healthy education and schools; technology and gender; the elimination of gendered violence.


Myra Sadker Foundation 

The Myra Sadker Foundation is a non-profit organization to promote equity in and beyond schools.  It has an annual competition for small grants for dissertation and teacher research to advance gender equality in education.


National Alliance for Partnerships in Education (NAPE)   

NAPE is a consortium of state and local agencies, organizations, and businesses that have joined forces to provide national leadership for equity in education and workforce development. It focuses on promoting more gender equality in non-traditional careers and in STEM.


National Association for Girls & Women in Sport

The National Association for Girls and Women in Sport advocates equal funding, quality, and respect for girls’ and women’s sports. It is part of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance.


National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME)

A volunteer organization of educators and researchers who advocate for social justice through multicultural education. NAME has local chapters to assist in networking advocates at all levels of education, publishes a journal, newsletter, and blogs, hosts a list serve, and issues position statements to support educational equity and social justice.


National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE)

A coalition of more than 40 organizations dedicated to improving educational opportunities for girls and women. The coalition advocates for the development of equitable education policies, addresses relevant federal education legislation, and produces publications on current Title IX and gender equity topics.


National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) – Gender Initiatives Program

NCAA is a voluntary organization through which the nation’s colleges and universities govern their athletics programs. NCAA principles state that “every NCAA school must establish and maintain an environment that values cultural diversity and gender equity among its student-athletes and athletics department staff and comply with federal and state laws regarding gender equity.”


National Council for Research on Women

The NCRW is a network of 120 leading research, policy, and advocacy centers dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls. The organization collaborates with business, academic, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations to provide effective policies, inclusive practices, and transformative change, both nationally and globally.


National Education Association (NEA)

NEA’s 2.7 million members work at all levels of education, from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA’s human and civil rights division addresses Title IX and gender equity issues.


National Organization for Women (NOW)

The largest organization of feminist activists in the United States with over 500,000 members in all 50 states working to promote equality and justice in our society through equity in education.


National Women’s Law Center (NWLC)

The NWLC is a non-profit organization that works to expand the possibilities for women and their families in schools, at work, and in other aspects of their lives. The Center works extensively on Title IX issues and has numerous reports and guides to decrease sex discrimination in education.


National Women’s Studies Association

NWSA supports and promotes feminist education and research and works to end racism and all forms of oppression via its national and regional conferences, research on women’s studies programs, and other activities to help its members learn from and support each other’s work.


Legal Voice

Founded as the Northwest Women’s Law Center, Legal Voice is an active legal voice for all women and girls in the Northwest. It focuses on pursing justice for women through litigation, legislative and policy advocacy, and education tools to help people understand their rights and the legal system.


Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education

The Office for Civil Rights is the agency within the Department of Education that regulates and enforces civil rights laws related to discrimination in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance, including Title IX. OCR also has 12 regional offices which help with enforcement and provide technical assistance. (There are also other offices for civil rights in other agencies.)


Women’s Sports Foundation  

The Women’s Sport Foundation is a national non-profit organization that works to increase opportunities for girls and women in sports to promote full implementation of Title IX in athletics.


Title IX Defined

This webpage has information on history, impact and key government documents relating to protections against sex discrimination.


Title IX Info for Parents and Community Members


Bernice Sandler – “The Godmother of Title IX”

Dr. Bernice Sandler’s website outlines strategies for organizations and individuals to improve equality for women in education and the workplace.


Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool Website

Required by the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act and its 1999 Regulations, this website managed by the Office of Postsecondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education provides required information on participation and support for women and men in college athletics.


Fairer Science

Sponsored by Campbell-Kibler Associates, and initially funded by the National Science foundation, Research on Gender in Science and Engineering Program, this website contains lists of resources, presentations, and media tools, as well as a blog.



Sponsored by the National Women’s Law Center, Women’s Sports Foundation, and others.





FedLaw provides access to legal resources and information, including civil rights and equal opportunity legislation.


Legal Information Institute – Supreme Court Decisions

The Legal Information Institute offers Supreme Court opinions issued since May 1990.

Updated 12-27-11 for


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