WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, on the 50th anniversary of Title IX being signed into law, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) co-authored an op-ed for FoxNews.com criticizing Democrats for dismantling Title IX protections and failing to protect women’s sports. Whip Scalise and Congresswoman Lesko highlight how Democrats’ misguided efforts to allow biological males to compete against biological females promotes inequality and is unfair to women athletes. Whip Scalise and Congresswoman Lesko emphasize that women and girls should be allowed a fair playing field in competitive sports by ensuring that school athletics comply with the Title IX recognition of a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.
Fifty years ago today, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 into law. Title IX mandated parity for men and women at educational institutions that received funding from the federal government. Sadly, Democrats are turning the original intent of Title IX on its head and are advocating for biological males to compete against biological females – effectively destroying women’s sports. The purpose of Title IX was to update the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which, at the time, did not ban discrimination against women at educational institutions. A byproduct of the Education Amendments of 1972, which sought to give women an equal playing field in education, led to women’s sports teams at the K-12 and collegiate levels receiving the same funding as men’s sports teams. Thanks to this, the number of female athletes has grown exponentially. According to the National Library of Medicine, from 1973 to 2018, the percentage of high school sports played by girls increased from 24.2 percent to 42.9 percent. The authors note, “Girls’ participation in high school sports continues to grow not only in numbers but in the types of sports played.” During the 1971-1972 school year, less than 300,000 girls participated in their high schools’ athletic programs while there were over 3.5 million boys participating during the same time period. Fast-forward to the 2018-2019 school year, and there are more than 3.4 million girls participating in their high schools’ athletic programs. This expansion wasn’t just limited to high school sports. In 1972, less than 30,000 female athletes competed in intercollegiate sports. In 2020, a record number of students competed in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sports– with over 280,000 men and 220,000 women participating in their colleges’ professional sports teams. Every American has the right to freely express himself or herself, as long as their actions do not infringe upon the rights of others, but that is exactly what is happening in women’s sports. Allowing men to compete in women’s sports ignores hundreds of years of science, biology, and reality. It tosses out specific rules designed to keep athletic competition fair. We have heard the heartbreaking stories of young women and girls from across the country who are losing competitions and even scholarships to biological males who choose to identify as women and girls. Unfortunately, many of these young women who try to speak out have been threatened and silenced. In an open letter, 16 athletes on the University of Pennsylvania women’s swimming and diving team wrote, “It has often felt like Penn, our school, our league, and the NCAA did not support us,” and said that they were told that they would be removed from the team or “we would never get a job offer” if they spoke out publicly against Lia Thomas’ inclusion in women’s competition. Lia Thomas went on to win the NCAA women’s 500 freestyle, beating out an Olympic silver medalist. This is a deep distortion of Title IX and takes successes away from the women who have earned them in the name of gender identity politics. While the world governing body for swimming has banned many transgender athletes from competing in women’s events, this measure comes too late for the women who have already lost opportunities and medals because they had to race against biological men. In order to help protect the future of women and girls’ sports, Democrats should remember the bedrock of Title IX – equality for women. Women’s sports should be reserved for the women and girls who work hard and train for them, not men. Biological males should not be allowed to participate in women’s sports. Sports that are designated for girls should only include girls. This should not be a partisan issue. As President Biden and Speaker Pelosi perpetuate the left’s radical gender ideology, women deserve better from their elected leaders. It is shameful that Democrats’ divisive politics and radical gender ideology ignore basic science and are destroying women’s sports that Title IX was created to protect.