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Polls show men and women split due to stock gains since Title IX

Ask any man about gender equality and you’ll probably hear that the US has come a long way in the 50 years since landmark antidiscrimination law Title IX had passed. Ask any woman and the answer will likely be very different.

According to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the National Museum of Women’s History, most adults in the United States believe the country has made at least some progress toward women’s equality since 1972. That year, Congress passed Title IX, a one-sentence statute prohibiting sex discrimination in education. But there are sharp differences of opinion about how much progress has been made and in what facets of life.

Some of the biggest differences, perhaps unsurprisingly, are between men and women: 61% of men say the country has made big or big strides in gender equality, while 37% of women said the same, according to the survey.

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Women were more likely to say little progress – 50% shared this view – while 13% said the country had made little or no progress.

“We fought a lot, we won a little bit, but we didn’t really achieve equality,” said Brenda Theiss, 68, a retired optometrist in Vinemont, Alabama. The progress that began in the ’70s appears to have stalled, she said persistent wage gaps and fights over women’s reproductive rights.

Title IX, passed as a follow-up to other landmark civil rights legislation, was intended to extend protections for women into the field of education. Today it is often known for its influence on women’s sports and the fight against sexual harassment and assault.

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As the nation nears the law’s 50th anniversary, most Americans are positive about it. 63 percent said they approve of the law, including a majority of men and women. Only 5% disagreed, while the rest said they were neutral or not sure.

But Americans are divided on several faults when it comes to assessing progress.

Alongside men, Republicans are also more likely to see big or big progress, with 65% agreeing. Among Democrats, 39% said the same.

Women in their 50s are more likely than their younger peers to see major or major advances in certain areas of life, such as: B. in leadership positions, employment and educational opportunities.

Milan Ramsey, 29, said it’s “remarkable how far we’ve come considering how unequal it still feels.”

She says sexism is hard to avoid in today’s society, whether it’s unequal access to health care or everyday humiliations such as depression. But she knows it was worse. Once, while looking at her mother’s childhood photos, her mother pointed out a pair of pants that she said were her first.

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“She remembers it because they weren’t allowed to wear pants in public school until she was about 7 years old,” said Ramsey, from Santa Monica, California.

As a young girl growing up in the ’70s, Karen Dunlap said she benefited immediately from Title IX. Girls’ soccer leagues have sprung up for the first time, she said. Her mother rushed to sign her up.

“As a kid, I really felt the immediate difference,” said Dunlap of Vancouver, Washington. “But it didn’t stop there.”

Dunlap competed in swimming and water polo at Pomona College in California, and she credits Title IX with the opportunity. It also ensured the school gave enough money for racing suits and a squad car, she said. But in the classroom, some male professors referred to her as a “student,” and some seemed to look down on female students, she said.

Later, when her daughters went to college, Dunlap was disappointed to see them fighting familiar battles. When one of her daughters applied for a job in an on-campus dorm, she was told she was too much of a “typically happy girl” for the job. She ended up dropping out of school and graduating elsewhere.

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“The pursuit of equality has been around long enough that it should have worked,” Dunlap said. “There should be a difference.”

According to the poll, Americans believe the impact of Title IX has been greater in some areas than others. More than half said it had had a positive impact on female students’ opportunities in sport, and about as many said it was part of overall educational opportunities.

But only 36% said it had had a positive impact on tackling sexual harassment in schools, and 31% said it had had a positive impact on protecting LGBTQ students from discrimination.

At the same time, there are indications that not all Americans have a thorough understanding of the law. About a third said they were unsure whether Title IX had an impact on them personally, and about a quarter or more were unsure of the impact it had on other areas.

The law is misunderstood in part because its application is so broad, said Shiwali Patel, senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center. In addition to its role in sports, it has also been used to protect against discrimination and harassment in college admissions, financial aid, on-campus living, and employment, among other issues.

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“I don’t think people really understand the full breadth and scope of Title IX,” she said. “It’s only 37 words long, but it’s extremely broad. It covers so much.”

Patel said it’s important to recognize that Title IX has made significant advances. More women are earning scholarships, participating in college sports, and ending up in faculty positions. But there has also been resistance to further improvements, particularly in the fight against sexual harassment and violence, she said.

“We are in a moment of real challenge and we still haven’t gone far enough,” Patel said.

The anniversary of the law is approaching The Biden administration is preparing new rules Details on how schools and colleges must respond to sexual harassment. The ordinance, which would serve as an extension of the 1972 law, seeks to reverse a number of Trump-era rules and expand the rights of victims of sexual harassment and assault.

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Among other findings, the poll found that Americans don’t think all women have felt the progress equally. About half of those surveyed said white women have seen great progress, but only about a third said the same for women of color or LGBTQ women. Only about a quarter said there had been much progress for low-income women.

Still, 67-year-old David Picatti feels the push for gender equality has been largely successful. When he was an engineering student in college, he recalls his program being vocal about recruiting women, who are underrepresented in many fields of science. More recently, he has received full scholarships from female cousins ​​to pursue college sports.

“I think there’s been a lot of progress and it’s a pretty even playing field,” said Picatti of Yakima, Washington.

Sarah Brown says it’s anything but the same. The 70-year-old from New Orleans acknowledges some progress — her daughter earned a master’s in business administration from Harvard University in the 1980s, when the program recruited more women — but still sees discrimination.

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As a retired accountant, Brown became discouraged recent struggles over abortion rights, and she was appalled by sexual assault scandals at Louisiana State University and other colleges across the country. It appears the progress made in the past is being undermined, she said.

Still, Brown isn’t surprised men see things differently.

“Of course not,” she said. “Women know what it’s really like to be a woman, men don’t. Men think women have it better than they really do.”

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The survey of 1,172 adults was conducted May 12-16 using a sample from NORC’s AmeriSpeak Probability-Based Panel, which is intended to be representative of the US population. The range of sampling error is plus or minus 4.0 percentage points for all respondents.

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The Associated Press education team is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/06/15/men-women-split-on-equity-gains-since-title-ix-poll-shows/ Polls show men and women split due to stock gains since Title IX

Sarah Y. Kim

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