Sexual Misconduct/Title IX Laws

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational programs or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
-- From the preamble to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities. All public and private schools, school districts, colleges and universities receiving federal funds must comply with Title IX.

Sex/Gender Discrimination of Students Under Title IX

In the provision of aid, benefit or service to students, the university may not, on the basis of sex -

  • Treat one student differently from another in determining whether the student satisfies any requirement or condition for the provision of any aid, benefit, or service
  • Provide different aid, benefits, or services or provide aid, benefits, or services in a different manner
  • Deny any student any such aid, benefit, or service
  • Subject students to separate or different rules of behavior, sanctions, or other treatment
  • Aid or perpetuate discrimination against a student by providing significant assistance to any agency, organization, or person that discriminates on the basis of sex in providing any aid, benefit, or service to students
  • Otherwise limit any student in the enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity.

Learn more

Such aids, benefits or services may include but are not limited to, admissions, recruitment, financial aid, academic programs, student treatment and services, counseling and guidance, discipline, classroom assignment, grading, vocational education, recreation, physical education, athletics, housing, and employment.

How to File a Discrimination Complaint With the Office for Civil Rights

Sex/Gender Discrimination of Faculty and Staff

  • The Ohio State University is committed to building and maintaining a community to reflect human diversity and to improve opportunities for all. The university is committed to equal opportunity, affirmative action, and eliminating discrimination and harassment. The university’s Affirmative Action is the proactive employment efforts to recruit, hire, and advance qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans, as required of federal contractors.
  • Ohio State does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or protected veteran status, or any other bases under the law, in its education program or activity, which includes employment.
  • For information regarding sex/gender discrimination of faculty or staff, please see the Non-Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct policy.


Title IX has helped girls and women participate in interscholastic and intercollegiate athletics in far greater numbers than they had in the past. When Title IX became law, dramatic change was needed to level the playing fields of this nation's schools and to change the perception of the place of girls and women on them. Just one year before the enactment of Title IX, in 1971, a Connecticut judge was allowed by law to disallow girls from competing on a boys' high school cross country team even though there was no girls' team at the school. And that same year, fewer than 300,000 high school girls played interscholastic sports. Today, that number is 2.4 million.

Girls and women also are increasingly participants in sports that have traditionally been seen as out of bounds for women, including lacrosse, wrestling, soccer, rugby and ice hockey. In one sport that is more and more a favorite for young girls-- soccer--the results have led to a World Cup championship. In 1996, the U.S. national soccer team captured the first-ever women's Olympic medal in this sport before a crowd of 76,481, and in doing so established its position as the world's premier women's soccer program.

Before the passage of Title IX, athletic scholarships for college women were rare, no matter how great their talent. After winning two gold medals in the 1964 Olympics, swimmer Donna de Varona could not obtain a college swimming scholarship: for women, they did not exist. It took time and effort to improve the opportunities for young women: two years after Title IX was voted into law, an estimated 50,000 men were attending U.S. colleges and universities on athletic scholarships--and fewer than 50 women. In 1973, the University of Miami (Florida) awarded the first athletic scholarships to women--a total of 15 in golf, swimming, diving, and tennis. Today, college women receive about one-third of all athletic scholarship dollars.

Here it is important to recognize that there is no mandate under Title IX that requires a college to eliminate men's teams to achieve compliance. The thought that "if women are to gain opportunities, then men must lose opportunities," presents a false dichotomy. As with other educational aspects of Title IX, and according to the expressed will of Congress, the regulation is intended to expand opportunities for both men and women.


The Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics is Janine Oman. She can be reached at*

* The Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics is responsible for addressing issues of gender equity in athletics only. Any allegation of sex or gender discrimination or harassment by a student-athlete or athletics staff member will be addressed by the Office of Institutional Equity in accordance with the Non-Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Pregnant and Parenting Students

What the Law Requires

Schools that receive federal funds must not discriminate against students on the basis of sex, including a student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination, or recovery therefrom. Schools must provide equal access to school programs and extracurricular activities to students who might be, are, or have been pregnant. Schools are required to treat pregnant and parenting students the same way they treat other students who are similarly able or unable to participate in school activities.

Further, any rules concerning parental, family, or marital status may not apply differently based on sex. For example, universities cannot provide women with time to bond with or care for their children and not men.

Pregnancy-Related Absences

Students must be allowed to take time off of school for pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, abortion and/or recovery for as long as their doctor says is medically necessary. That could mean a few absences for necessary medical appointments, or a longer leave of absence for a high-risk pregnancy or childbirth. This rule applies even if taking medically necessary leave would require an absence for longer than the school’s leave policy ordinarily allows.  Students cannot be penalized for taking leave, and must be able to return to school in the same status they held before taking leave.   

See Ohio State Parental Care Guidebook and Graduate Student Handbook

Title IX requires schools to provide pregnant students with services and accommodations equal to those provided to non-pregnant students.

Schools are required to provide pregnant students, and students with related conditions such as childbirth, or false pregnancy, with at least the same special services as it provides to students with other temporary conditions.  For example, if a school provides homebound instruction or take-home assignments to students who miss school for illnesses, they must do the same for a student who misses school as a result of pregnancy or childbirth. Pregnant students and those with related medical conditions may also be eligible for disability protections and services under the ADA, depending upon their condition. 

Your right to pump and breastfeed

If you must miss class to nurse or pump, your absence should be excused and you should not be penalized for your time away. This means your grade cannot be lowered due to poor attendance, you must be given the ability to make up any work missed, and you must be able to get the information you missed as well.

If you have difficulty getting excused absences, you may need to provide a doctor’s note stating that it is medically necessary for you to pump on a certain schedule.

See Nursing Mother/Lactation Rooms

ACCESS Collaborative

The ACCESS Collaborative Program is an academic and social support program to assist low-income, single parent students who are pursuing a college education at The Ohio State University. While the program strives to increase the retention rates of all low-income, single parent students, attention is given to the unique circumstances of students from diverse social groups, including minorities. By minimizing the barriers that may prevent their full participation, the ACCESS Collaborative Program works to create a campus climate that is inclusive for all. Learn more.

For assistance, please contact:

Melissa Mayhan, Title IX Coordinator

Scott Lissner, ADA Coordinator and 504 Compliance Officer

Other resources:

The Pregnant Scholar - An online resource for university students, faculty, and adminsitrators on pregnancy and parenting

OCR Know Your Rights - Pregnant or Parenting? Title IX protects you from discrimination at school

US Department of Education - Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students

National Women's Law Center - Pregnant and Parenting Students' Rights: FAQ for College and Graduate Students