Inniss Comments on the 40th Anniversary of Title IX, Notes Potential Uses for Combating Sexual Harassment

In marking the 40th anniversary of Title IX, Lolita Buckner Inniss, C|M|LAW’s Joseph C. Hostetler-Baker & Hostetler Chair in Law, recently posted the following at the American Constitution Society Blog:

http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/title-ix-single-episode-sexual-harassment-and-telling-stories-out-of-school

The principal provision of Title IX reads:

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.

Although Title IX is best known for having transformed the arena of women’s sports, Inniss notes that Title IX has a much broader reach.  She writes that it also applies to sexual violence and sexual harassment. Inniss writes that one of the more controversial aspects of Title IX jurisprudence is that sexual harassment is not only defined by persistent behavior but may also be found in a single episode.  She argues that Title IX should give women an opportunity for articulating the legal and ethical wrongness of such behavior by telling their own stories in their own voices.

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