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Who Is (Not) Protected by Title IX? A Critical Review of 45 Years of Research

by Elizabeth J. Meyer & Mary Quantz - 2021

Background/Context: This is the first published systematic literature review with an exclusive focus on Title IX scholarship. This article aims to offer a holistic view of the existing knowledge base in this field presented in peer-reviewed scholarly publications.

Purpose: This review of the literature identifies key trends in this body of research and highlights strengths, as well as gaps and oversights, that future research should address.

Research Design: This descriptive literature review systematically collected 169 peer-reviewed articles to identify the conceptual boundaries of the field and the current gaps.

Data Collection and Analysis: Authors applied Booth, Sutton, and Papaioannou’s SALSA approach (Search, AppraisaL, Synthesis, and Analysis) to this systematic review to identify and analyze the 169 articles included in the study. We applied an intersectional feminist lens and Queer of Color critique to the analysis of the included articles.

Findings/Results: Peer-reviewed scholarly publications on Title IX (169) have generally focused on analyses of legal decisions (93) and studies of athletics (75), with little attention to other aspects of the law. Most studies lacked intersectional analyses of how “sex discrimination” has been understood in K–12 and higher education contexts, which leaves experiences of students of color, transgender students, and LGBQ students missing from most of the scholarship in this field.

Conclusions/Recommendations: This review of the literature is intended to help scholars interested in issues of sex discrimination and gender equity in educational institutions in the United States have a clear overview of scholarship that already exists related to Title IX in order to ask more focused and critical questions about its impacts and implementation. More research is needed to understand the ways in which educational institutions interpret and apply their responsibilities under this law—particularly through the lenses of intersectional feminism and Queer of Color critique. Contemporary issues, including campus sexual assault, and the negative experiences documented about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students in schools underline the importance of staying current with Title IX, and the current body of literature indicates scant attention to collecting and analyzing data about this law’s application in practice and implications for diverse groups of people.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 123 Number 2, 2021, p. 1-42
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 23585, Date Accessed: 4/17/2021 4:12:11 AM

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About the Author
  • Elizabeth J. Meyer
    University of Colorado Boulder
    E-mail Author
    ELIZABETH J. MEYER, Ph.D., is an associate professor of educational foundations, policy, and practice in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research interests include gender and sexual diversity in schools, bullying and harassment, and relevant laws and policies. She is the coeditor of Supporting Transgender and Gender-Creative Youth: Schools, Families, and Communities in Action and coauthor of “Can Policies Help Schools Affirm Gender Diversity? A Policy Archaeology Of Transgender-Inclusive Policies in California Schools,” which appeared in Gender and Education.
  • Mary Quantz
    St. Vrain Valley School District
    E-mail Author
    MARY QUANTZ is a high school English teacher in Colorado. She received her PhD in educational foundations, policy, and practice from the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder. Mary’s research focuses on policies that impact how teachers engage with queer issues in schools and classrooms in conservative communities. Recent publications: Quantz, M., Buell, J., & Editorial Board. (2019). Disrupting epistemic injustice in education research through digital platforms and public scholarship. Critical Questions in Education, 10(2), 120–134; and Quantz, M., & Editorial Board. (2018). The role of public scholarship in promoting justice in education: Expanding the boundaries of education research. The Assembly: A Journal for Public Scholarship on Education 1(1) [Editorial].
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