For more information please call  800.727.2766


Biden Administration Modifies Title IX Rule on Transgender Athletes

Title IX prohibits sex discrimination at educational institutions receiving federal funding. In 1979, an intercollegiate athletics policy clarified that Title IX required women to receive the same athletic opportunities as their male counterparts. Since that policy was enacted, there have been questions and challenges over what "equal" means. 

Transgender athletes also want equal access to school athletics. In May 2022, the Biden administration proposed new Title IX rules to ensure it protects individuals from discrimination based on "stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity." In April 2023, the administration proposed a separate framework for transgender athlete participation in school. The proposed framework increases institutional flexibility as the athletes get older. Elementary school students may generally participate in teams matching their gender identity (which may be different than their assigned sex at birth). As these students enter puberty and school athletics become more competitive, the policy provides for a multi-pronged assessment of whether the athlete should play on the team with which they identify. Factors that the institution should consider under the policy include the students' ages, the level of fairness for all participants, and the nature of the sport. 

Many Republicans and Democrats do not like the proposed changes for different reasons, according to the New York Times. Some Republicans and athletes do not believe transgender women should play on women's teams and assert the new rule will undermine Title IX's protections for women. Some Democrats and LGBTQ advocates expressed concern the changes will result in "new levels of discrimination" against transgender athletes and gender policing for all female-identifying athletes. Other groups expressed support for the new policy as a step in the right direction. The NCAA requires transgender athletes to undergo testosterone testing before they can compete in women's divisions, and at least 20 states have laws barring transgender students from competing in the division corresponding to their gender identity. If the Biden administration's rules go into effect, it is unclear how it will work with these conflicting rules and laws.