The Transformation of Title IX
Stuart Lecture Series on Institutional Corruption in America
Shep Melnick, Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Professor of American Politics, Boston College
How did Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972—initially a relatively non-controversial effort to remove institutional barriers to educational opportunity for women and girls—become so politically contentious? By 2016, a long series of regulatory expansions initiated by federal administrators and judges produced detailed rules for steps colleges must take to eliminate all forms of sexual assault and harassment, as well as instructions on how primary and secondary schools must treat transgender students. No longer did regulation focus on expanding educational opportunities for female students; now it sought to change the way students, faculty, and the public at large think about sex, gender stereotypes, and sexuality. The lecture will trace this evolution and explore its most important consequences.
R. Shep Melnick is the Tip O’Neill Professor of American Politics at Boston College and author, most recently, of The Transformation of Title IX: Regulating Gender Equality in Education (Brookings, 2018). His extensive writing on the intersection of law, politics, and policy includes Regulation and the Courts: The Case of the Clean Act (Brookings, 1983) and Between the Lines: Interpreting Welfare Rights (Brookings, 1994). Before joining the Political Science Department at Boston College, he taught at Harvard University and Brandeis University, where he chaired the Politics Department. For many years he has served as co-chair of the Harvard Program on Constitutional Government. In 2012 he received the APSA Law and Courts Section’s “Lasting Contribution” award. He received his B.A. and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.