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Sociocultural-Impacts on Society
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Lisa Arens

Title IX:  Sociocultural Impact on Society

 

Glass Ceiling Theory

        Glass Ceiling Theory is the idea that people are not hired or promoted to higher levels of employment in companies on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, or religious beliefs.  These barriers may be invisible, but never the less they are highly effective in limiting the employment opportunities of many people.  They can include failure to advertise a job opening, word-of-mouth recruiting, lack of support and training, and biases towards interested candidates.1

        Many problems can arise for companies having a glass ceiling.  They may face legal troubles for violating numerous federal and state laws.  Companies may also overlook a qualified person for a job based on their gender, race, or the fact they are unlike anyone else working there.1

Wages:  Females vs. Males

                Since the 1970’s, women’s wages have been growing at a faster rate than men’s.  Between 1979 and 2002, the average annual earning of women in the United States grew by seventeen percent.  This rise can be linked to the passing of several different laws, which in turn made it easier for women to attain better paying jobs and opened the doors for higher education.2

                Even with these advancements, women are still making substantially less money than males.  In 2002, women earned only seventy-six cents for every dollar a man earned.3  This uneven pay scale can be attributed to many different things.  The pay scale often reflects the amount of education, training, and experience a person has.  Women still lag behind men in these categories, so the result is lower pay.  Second, women are still outnumbered by men in many fields of work, especially those higher paying fields such as scientists, engineers, and business managers.  Thirdly, gender discrimination plays a major role in the wage difference between men and women.4

The road to gaining equal pay for women has been a bumpy one.  It has been full of ups and downs.  During the 1960’s and 1970’s women earned about sixty cents for every dollar men earned.  In the 1980’s the wage difference between women and men lessened, but then in the 1990’s the wage difference once again rose.  By the turn of the century the gap between men and women’s wages was extremely high.4

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment has long been a problem for women.  It was not until 1972 that “sexual harassment” even became as a legal term.5  Before the implementation of Title IX, there were many different forms of sexual harassment.  They included such things as sexual comments, name-calling, rumors, and inappropriate touching.  Nothing was ever done to the men or boys that did these things.  It was simply dismissed as being rude behavior or “boys will be boys”.6

Since Title IX, sexual harassment is no longer tolerated in education.  Sexual harassment now includes any acts or behaviors that can interfere with a person’s education.  Title IX has made schools accountable for any acts of sexual harassment and mandated that they must take action to investigate any such allegations.6

Why is Title IX still necessary?  Sexual harassment has lessened in schools, but it is still occurring – for both boys and girls.  Statistics show that eighty percent of students are still experiencing some sort of sexual harassment.  The ways boys and girls are being harassed are very similar to the ways before Title IX:  comments, rumors, jokes, and touching.  Boys today are more likely to be harassed than boys almost ten years ago, but girls are still harassed at higher rates.6

Females:  1972 vs. Today

                How have a female’s education and career options changes since 1972 with the passing of Title IX?  Before Title IX, education for girls was limited.  Many school had separate entrances for girls and boys, if girls were allowed admittance at all.  Girls were not allowed to take certain classes, such as shop.  They had to take classes like home economics.    Law schools and medical schools only allowed a certain number of female students admittance.  Many schools also required higher test scores of women than men to gain admission.  If a woman lived on campus she could not stay out past midnight.5

                Since Title IX, education for women has become fairer.  Refusing admission, financial aid, and higher education to women is a thing of the past.  Women are going to college and earning degrees in higher educational fields usually dominated by men.7  Women are no longer being stereotyped as only being mothers, wives, or secretaries.  They are now allowed to become what they have always dreamed of becoming, even if that is a scientist, lawyer, or doctor.8

                What still needs to be done for women’s education?  Women are still earning fewer degrees then men, especially in math and science.  This is due in large part to the harassment they face from males in these fields.  Schools are also getting rid of programs that are responsible for allowing women access to higher education.7  In addition, males still receive more attention from their teachers than females.  Whether the acknowledgments are praise or criticism, the focus of teachers is greater for males.8

                Before 1972, the careers of women were simple:  mother, wife, nurse, secretary, or teacher.  Women usually went to school to prepare for these lower paying jobs.  Women were not allowed to work in fields usually dominated by men, such as doctors or lawyers.

                After Title IX, the jobs for women, as well as men, broadened.  Men and women were allowed pursue any job they desired.  Women pursued jobs in aviation, architecture, and medicine.  Men were free to pursue jobs in cooking, nursing, and cosmetology.9

                Is Title IX still necessary when it comes to women’s careers?  The statistics speak for themselves.  Less than thirty-five percent of all principals are female.  Men still dominate fields such as engineers, executives, doctors, and lawyers.  Women still dominate profession like nursing, teachers, and counselors.  Title IX is necessary if we ever want to balance out the number of men and women in specific occupations.10



1 The Glass Ceiling.  May 10, 2002.  11 June 2005 http://www.irra-neohio.org/glassceiling.htm.

 

2 Institute for Women’s Policy Research. p. 5.  6 June 2005 http://www.iwpr.org/States2004/index.htm.

 

3 Institute for Women’s Policy Research, p. 9

 

4 Institute for Women’s Policy Research, p.10

 

5 Women’s Equity Resource Center.  1 June 2005 http://www2.edc.org/WomensEquity/resource/title9/report/intro.htm.

 

6 Title IX/I Exercise My Rights - Sexual Harassment.  2005. 8 June 2005 http://www.titleix.info.

 

7 Title IX/I Exercise My Rights - Access to Higher Education. 

 

8 Title IX/I Exercise My Rights - Learning Environment

 

9 Title IX/I Exercise My Rights - Career Education 

 

10 Institute for Women’s Policy Research, p. 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

The Glass Ceiling.  May 10, 2002.  11 June 2005 http://www.irra-neohio.org/glassceiling.htm.

 

Institute for Women’s Policy Research.  6 June 2005 http://www.iwpr.org/States2004/index.htm.

 

Title IX/I Exercise My Rights.  2005. 8 June 2005 http://www.titleix.info.

 

Women’s Equity Resource Center.  1 June 2005  http://www2.edc.org/WomensEquity/resource/title9/report/intro.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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