Title IX History

Title IX

In 1972, the federal government passed Title IX. Title IX prohibits sex and gender discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding. Under Title IX, schools are legally required to respond and remedy hostile educational environments. Failure to do so is a violation and puts schools at risk for losing federal funding.

When Title IX was signed in 1972, its purpose was focused on equity and access for female students, particularly pertaining to athletics, financial aid, and admissions. However, since its adoption, Title IX has been expanded to include protection against sexual harassment and sexual violence, as well as gender discrimination against transgender students and pregnant students. Title IX is currently a living, breathing document, with currently, over 20 suggested amendments since its creation. Title IX and the protection of students against sex and gender discrimination continue to be an important topic and area of focus for higher education. More recently, since 2011, the federal and local government have added new requirements under Title IX to ensure that colleges prevent, respond to, and remedy sexual misconduct. 


Title IX applies to all educational institutions from elementary to higher education. Title IX includes protection from the following:

1. Sexual harassment and sexual violence/misconduct

2. Retaliatory enviornments against someone's gender identity

3. Inequal access to athletics based on sex/gender

4. Inequal access to financial assistance based on sex/gender

5. Inequal access to admissions or educational programs based on sex/gender

At Gustavus Adolphus College, anything breaking our sexual misconduct policy, including non-consensual contact, non-consensual penetration, intimate partner violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation, will follow our sexual misconduct process as outlined in our sexual misconduct policy. All other forms of sex and/or gender discrimination would follow different processes pending on the scope of the hostile enviornment created and the persons involved. Student to student sexual and gender harassment would follow our bias process as outlined on the Bias and Hate Crime Reporting Page on the Gustavus website.


1972: Title IX is passed by the Supreme Court.

1992: Franklin v. Gwinnett Public Schools: Courts decide sexual harassment and sexual violence should be covered by Title IX

1998: Gesber v. Lago Vista Independence Shool: Schools are responsible to respond to an incident of sexual harassment and/or sexual violence if the school had reasonable notice.

2001: The Office of Civil Rights distributes guidance on responding to sexual harassment

2011: The 2011 Dear Colleague Letter is distributed by the Office of Civil Rights outling key actions a school should take to prevent, respond to, and remedy the impacts of sexual harassment and sexual violence. Noting that sexual assault had become an epidemic on college campuses, OCR reiterated that Title IX guarantees all students an education free from sexual harassment and violence.

2013: The Campus SaVE Act is passed, taking a large portion of the guidance within the 2011 Dear Colleauge Letter and making it so that federal law schools comply with those standards.

2013: The Violence Against Women's Act amendment within the Clery Act is passed by the federal government expanding Title IX to cover protection for intimate partner violence and stalking.