Authors: Martha L. Marra
Affiliations: Cornerstone University
Martha L. Marra
4627 Ramswood Dr. NE.
Grand Rapids, MI
Dr. Marty Marra is an Associate Professor of Kinesiology at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI. Dr. Marra has been involved in education for nearly 30 years and continues to research and study in the areas of professionalism, content standards and current trends in Physical Education and Health.
Dr. Fred Cromartie
One Academy Drive
Daphne, AL 36526
The purpose of this study was to compare and analyze the perceptions of intercollegiate athletic administrators regarding full compliance to Title IX in athletics through a gender equity survey. The study included 230 higher educational institutions which were represented by 115 Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) schools and 115 non CCCU (NCCCU) schools. The study identified perceived levels of compliance in the areas of provisions, policies and procedures and perceived barriers that would inhibit full compliance to Title IX. Responses were analyzed by the researcher from the answers provided from respondents on the survey regarding their perceptions of Title IX compliance. The participants’ responses to specific questions about provisions and the perceived barriers to compliance in their respective athletic programs were scored on a Likert Scale. Perceptions of policies and procedures were scored using dichotomous questions of ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ and ‘no answer’ responses. Athletic administrators were classified in the study as members of the CCCU and those who were not members NCCCU but who were from similar, faith-based, institutions.
Keywords: Barriers to compliance, CCCU, faith-based non-CCCU, policies and procedures, provisions
In 1972, Title IX changed education and athletics like no one had ever seen or expected. Women went from the sidelines to the headlines. Educational pursuits were opened for women who had been hoping but never seeing their dreams come to fruition. Even the legislators who would pass the new law called “Title IX” had no idea of the extent of its far reaching effect on society and in athletics. Those simple but powerful words read: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance” (Title IX, 1979). In spite of its overwhelming success, many of the important issues surrounding Title IX, from its historic beginnings to its impact on changing gender roles, remain hidden in misinformation for far too many Americans.
Over the years, the words “Title IX” have become synonymous with women in athletics and yet the implementation of the law in its intent is more complicated in the outcomes and enforcement. Many changes and breakthroughs attributed to Title IX were just as much the outcome of a changing America since the 1970s when the new law was passed. In the same year, the Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress, but even if Title IX had not been enacted, there would still have been dramatic changes and increases in women’s rights and participation in athletics (Ware, 2007). What Title IX meant in the 1970s was different than what it means today, more than 40 years later, due to continued clarifications, incremental changes, and a broader political climate (Ware, 2007). The original intent behind the law was to change the widespread discrimination against women in educational experiences with regards to participation as students, tenured professors, and those becoming administrators. It was designed to fill the gap where Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 fell short (Ware, 2007). Title VII was a law which banned discrimination based on race, sex, national origin, and religion in employment, but it did not specify educational institutions (Civil Rights Act, 1964). Patsy Mink of Hawaii was a significant supporter of the original legislation of Title IX and stated in 2002, “When it was proposed, we had no idea that its most visible impact would be in athletics” (as cited in Porto, 2003, p. 156).
Title IX is often misunderstood by educational administrators, athletic directors and the general public, so this study seeks to review and analyze the appropriate and successful way of implementation of Title IX in the CCCU schools. Throughout this study, the historical roots of Title IX will be discussed and the exploration of its implementation with regards to gender equity and the quality of athletic programs will be examined. Title IX law continues to generate significant debate. Therefore, it is increasingly important to demonstrate a proper understanding of the legality of various actions and decisions made by athletic departments of the CCCU schools. Despite the continued controversy over Title IX, it is one of the most successful civil rights statutes in history (Grossman, 2003).
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to identify factors which predict compliance with Title IX from athletic administrators at the collegiate level of both the CCCU schools and faith-based NCCCU schools, through a gender equity survey. The objective of this study was to examine the perceptions between male and female athletic administrators regardless if they were members of the CCCU organization or not, to predict compliance through the general provisions, policies and procedures established in Title IX legislation as well as barriers to compliance. The study also explored whether factors associated with athletic administrators who were members of the CCCU organization and those who were not predict how the provisions, policies and procedures established to measure Title IX compliance through a gender equity survey, are monitored and applied. Lastly, the study also explored the perceived barriers that inhibit Title IX compliance within universities and colleges which belong to the CCCU and those who do not. The following terms are defined for the purpose of this study:
Barriers to Compliance: Any obstacle that is in the way of meeting compliance of Title IX mandates.
CCCU: Council for Christian Colleges and Universities; Intentionally Christian Institutions (CCCU, 2014).
Faith-based non-CCCU (NCCCU): Colleges and Universities who are faith-based and similar in admissions, enrollment, sport offerings, programs, and religious affiliation to CCCU schools but are not members of the CCCU organization.
Policies and Procedures: The guidelines or methods established for each institution which determine how issues relating to Title IX compliance are governed, monitored and regulated (Conran, 2000).
Provisions of Title IX: The provisions established by the Office of Civil Rights, which determine if equal opportunities are provided in athletic programs offered by educational institutions. Provisions refer to equipment and supplies, scheduling of practice times and games, travel and accommodations, coaching salaries and responsibilities, training for coaches, locker room and training facilities, media coverage, enrollment proportionality, compliance to Title IX, a history of continued program expansion, and interest and abilities of under-represented gender is represented (O’Brien & O’Brien, 1995).
The focus of this quantitative study was to collect descriptive data relating the perceptions regarding Title IX compliance items from men and women athletic administrators at the collegiate level regardless if they were members of the CCCU or not, and from athletic administrators at the collegiate level who were members of the CCCU and those who were not. This type of study had never been conducted with the CCCU schools. The objective of the study was to determine if there were differences in the perceptions between men and women athletic administrators in the three areas of compliance, and to determine if there were differences in the perceptions between athletic administrators who represented the CCCU and those who did not, in the three areas of compliance.
The goal of the gender equity survey was to examine the athletic administrators’ responses to the questions, to examine the variability in the responses between the two groups, and to study the responses primarily from the similar groups being studied. From the data, the researcher used the findings to make generalizations about perceived gender equity as it related to Title IX compliance from the responses given in the survey.
The sample consisted of Athletic Administrators (Athletic Director, Assistant/Associate Athletic Director, Senior Woman Administrator, and Compliance Officer) who were members of the CCCU organization and those who were not, but who belonged to similar, faith-based institutions. The institutions involved in the study were located in the United States as specified by the CCCU organization. A description of the study, an invitation to participate and an embedded link for the survey using Google Forms, was sent to a distribution email list to the specific athletic administrators whose schools were located in the United States. The demographic summaries for CCCU and NCCCU participants are shown in Table 1.
A web-based survey was administered using Google Forms. The survey used direct questioning with a Likert scale format to obtain athletic administrators’ perceptions related to the provisions and perceived barriers to Title IX implementation for their respective programs. The survey asked participants to respond with a “yes” or “no” or a “no answer” to a series of questions designed to assess how they perceived policies and procedures within their respective athletic programs according to Title IX mandates (Conran, 2000). Specific demographic information was asked to include key institutional variables for this researcher for further study. The Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA) report was also examined and information from that report was included for further study. The researcher was pleased with the response rate from the respondents selected. Table 2 presents the response rates from the groups included in the study.
The purpose of the study was to compare and analyze the perceptions of men and women athletic administrators and all athletic administrators from two specific populations (CCCU and NCCCU), through the gender equity survey which included specific variables which align with Title IX compliance. The analysis identified the perceived level of institutional compliance and the barriers that athletic administrators face when attempting to fully comply with Title IX mandates. A concern for this study was the difficulty in controlling the threat to internal validity of the survey. Respondents who completed the survey were located in multiple locations under uncontrolled situations. The participant was asked to answer confidentially without any assistance from others. Information was given on how to access the survey and who the expected participant was to be.
The data analysis from this study contributes to the overall understanding and application of gender equity with regards to Title IX compliance within the CCCU athletic programs. Until now, studies conducted examining gender equity in athletics for the CCCU schools had never been pursued. The data allowed for comparisons between the perceptions of men and women athletic administrators regardless of CCCU membership and the comparisons between the perceptions of athletic administrators who are CCCU members and of those who are not, through their responses on the gender equity survey. The data also allowed the summaries from the findings to provide pertinent information to CCCU athletic administrators which can be used to evaluate and elevate their progress with regards to Title IX compliance and gender equity in a quality athletic program. The study analyzed and compared the data collected to determine if significant differences existed between the respondents’ responses. In addition, this researcher was interested in examining if significant differences existed between the perceptions of men and women athletic administrators towards the three areas of questioning in the gender equity survey regardless of membership in the CCCU.
The dependent variables consisted of the scores on the scales regarding the provisions, policies, and procedures, as well as the scores of the perceived barriers to compliance. The independent variables were gender and CCCU membership. Tables were used to summarize the findings of the study and an Alpha level was set at p<.05. Excel from Microsoft was used to tabulate and import data into SPSS.
Data were quantified and entered into the computer program of SPSS for statistical analysis. The coding using a Likert Scale relating to the various predictors identified for gender equity in Section I (provisions) of the survey was prioritized from the highest rank being a 5 and the lowest rank being a 1. The coding using a Likert Scale relating to the various predictors identified for gender equity in Section III (barriers) of the survey were prioritized from the highest rank being a 5 and the lowest rank being a 1. It must be noted that a lower score on the Likert Scale for barriers indicates a perception of less barriers and a higher score indicates more barriers at the institution. For the items in Section II (policies and procedures) all “yes” answers received a 1 and “no” answers received a 2. Items that received a “no answer” response were eliminated from the data. The researcher used the gender of the athletic administrator and the position of the respondent for this study.
Validity and Reliability
The survey instrument, which was created by Conran (2000), was modified from several Title IX Compliance survey instruments developed by the NCAA (2012) at the Division III level as well as the Tressel/Krotee Compliance Survey (TKCS) instrument used in Tressel (1996). The TKCS was initially developed in 1993 and was based upon the previous models of Campbell (1987) and Hull (1993) whose studies examined the perceptions of players, coaches, and athletic administrators regarding Title IX compliance issues (Causby, 2010). The researcher established that the survey instrument developed for the Conran study (2000), satisfied content validity (Conran, 2000). Information provided by a previous researcher, Conran (2000), showed the content validity was achieved by asking members on a panel of experts to examine each question on a pilot survey generated by Conran. This was to determine if the questions asked actually measured the athletic administrators’ perceptions relating to each attribute included on the survey (Conran, 2000). To check the reliability of the survey during the early stages, Conran applied a Spearman-Brown split half coefficient statistic to the responses (Conran, 2000). Two sets of data were obtained from two sets of respondents in the pilot survey and were compared. The data were obtained by correlating two sets of scores from equivalent halves of a single test administered one time (Conran, 2000). The results Conran obtained from the pilot survey yielded an r of .9. An r of .7 was considered acceptable in the studies conducted by Lozar (1993) and by Tressel (1996) both of which are studies that also measured the perceptions of athletic administrators (Conran, 2000).
This study presents results regarding the perceptions between athletic administrators at institutions who belong to the CCCU and those who do not, in the three distinct areas of gender equity. The study also presents the results regarding the perceptions between the two genders of athletic administrators at institutions regardless if they were members of the CCCU, in the three distinct areas of gender equity.
It was hypothesized that there would be differences in the perceptions between the genders of athletic administrators regardless if they were CCCU members or not, as to how the standard provisions, policies and procedures, and barriers to compliance to Title IX were applied to their respective programs. The Mann-Whitney U test was applied to all data received from the gender equity survey because three of the six gender-by-section groupings violated tests of normality.
Table 3 presents the results of the Mann-Whitney U test regarding the perceptions between the genders towards the provisions, policies and procedures, and barriers regarding Title IX compliance.
The gender difference tests showed a consistent trend of lower ratings from female participants (as indicated by negative Z statistics; male was coded as 1, and female coded as 2). However, this difference was only significant (Z=-2.74, p<.01) for the policies and procedures section. Men responded with higher numbers in agreement towards policies and procedures than did the women indicating that the men were more satisfied with the policies and procedures at their institutions. Women were less satisfied with the policies and procedures and therefore, they had lower scores on this portion of the survey. The data also indicated that both genders scored relatively high on the questions relating to provisions and barriers, which indicated that they agreed that the overall provisions associated with their athletic programs, were equally provided for in their programs. Scoring for the questions regarding perceived barriers did not indicate significant perceptual differences between the genders. As a result, the outcome of testing for Hypothesis 1 was acceptance of the null hypothesis for provisions and barriers, and rejecting the null hypothesis for policies and procedures, concluding that it is unlikely that the distribution of these perceptions are equal between men and women athletic administrators. It was hypothesized that there would be differences in the perceptions between the athletic administrators who were members of the CCCU and those who were not, as to how the variable of standard provisions (Section I) to Title IX compliance were applied to their respective programs. The Mann-Whitney U test was applied to all data in Section I of the gender equity survey and findings are presented in Table 4. This nonparametric test was selected due to violations of normality in at least one subgroup.
There was no significant difference in distribution of provision ratings between CCCU and NCCCU groups (Z=-1.94, p=.052). Athletic administrators reported relatively high scores for the provision section of the survey indicating that they strongly agreed that the provisions associated with their athletic programs were equally provided for between the two groups (CCCU/NCCCU). For Hypothesis 2, the distribution of provisions was the same across the categories of CCCU/NCCCU; therefore, the null hypothesis was accepted in the category of provisions due to the similarities between the CCCU/NCCCU (.052). Both groups reported relatively high scores for the questions regarding provisions, which indicated that they were in agreement that the provisions associated with their programs were equal between the genders.
It was hypothesized that there would be statistically significant differences between
the perceptions of athletic administrators who were CCCU members and those who were not, as to how the policies and procedures are applied to their respective programs. Table 5 shows the results of the Mann-Whitney U test for Section II of the survey.
There was no significant difference in distribution of perceptions of policies and procedures between CCCU and NCCCU groups (Z=-.776, p=.438) indicating a high satisfaction with the amount of information provided to athletic administrators with regards to Title IX implementation and compliancy. For Hypothesis 3, the distribution of policies and procedures were the same across the categories of CCCU/NCCCU; therefore, the null hypothesis was accepted due to the similarities between the CCCU/NCCCU.
It was hypothesized that there would be statistically significant differences between the perceptions of athletic administrators who were CCCU members and those who were not as to the perceived barriers to Title IX implementation that may exist within their respective programs. The Mann-Whitney U test was applied to the data received from Section III of the survey. Table 6 presents the results.
For Hypothesis 4, the distribution of barriers was not the same across the categories of CCCU/NCCCU; therefore, the null hypothesis was rejected in the category of barriers between the CCCU/NCCCU. These results indicate that perceptions of barriers were more favorable at CCCU institutions regarding compliance. The perceptions of barriers for the NCCCU institutions were scored less favorable meaning that there were observable barriers to full compliance of Title IX in the athletic programs of the NCCCU schools. Further study is needed to understand what the specific barriers were for the NCCCU schools.
Overall, the findings suggest that the differences between the CCCU and NCCCU institutions were minimal in the areas of the demographic data. It was anticipated by this researcher that the outcomes of Title IX mandates would increase benefits for the under-represented gender in the area of provisions, policies and procedures and lessen the barriers to compliance when possible. Title IX allows for equitable distribution of resources as well as equitable use of athletic facilities. The data from this study strongly suggest that there is a high degree of satisfaction with the provisions, policies, and procedures established to measure Title IX compliance. Although the barriers to compliance did show significant changes in the data, most institutions found that they could comply with Title IX legislation in spite of the current barriers. Overall, the results from this study indicated that both the CCCU and the NCCCU institutions’ athletic administrators similarly perceived that their schools were in compliance with Title IX legislation. These findings are consistent with similar studies conducted by Lozar (1993), Conran (2000) and Causby (2010). Lozar (1993) found that most athletic administrators and university lawyers perceived their schools to be in compliance with Title IX mandates.
Thank you to Dr. Cromartie for his continued help in my professional journey. You are appreciated.
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