Screen Readers Skip to Content

Title IX: Gender Identity & Gender Expression

Author: Association of Title IX Administrators
Published: 10th Oct 2015
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: Discrimination and Abuse Publications

Summary: Importance of protection for gender nonconformity, gender identity, gender expression, transitioning and transgender status conferred by Title IX of the Education Amendments.


Main Document

ATIXA stresses the importance of protections for gender nonconformity, gender identity, gender expression, transitioning and transgender status conferred by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Allegations of such discrimination require a civil rights, equity-based response from any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. ATIXA strongly endorses and supports these protections and encourages their full implementation within all schools, colleges and universities subject to Title IX.

Because the verbiage of Title IX itself is broad in its protections, the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights' (OCR) interpretation of the law has evolved over time, progressively focusing on employment discrimination, equity in athletics, sexual harassment and sexual violence. OCR is now widening the Title IX lens to focus on the rights of gender-nonconforming and transgender individuals to ensure their access to the full benefits of federally funded educational programs.

As early as 2001, OCR recognized that bullying and harassment of LGBT or gender-nonconforming students, which is gender-based harassment - meaning harassment or bullying because a student does not conform to stereotyped notions of masculinity or femininity - is covered by Title IX. In fact, OCR's October 26th, 2010 Dear Colleague Letter spoke specifically to the protections Title IX affords regarding harassment of LGBT individuals.

But OCR has not yet clarified whether Title IX covers discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived gender identity. This is an important distinction. ATIXA posits that intentional discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender is, by definition, discrimination "based on sex." In that case, evidence of gender stereotyping would not be necessary in order to establish that sex discrimination occurred against a transgender person. This is a position that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is now starting to take more broadly, and one which ATIXA hope OCR will follow.

Statistics published by the Transgender Law Center indicate that an estimated 2 to 5% of the population is transgender, meaning they experience some degree of gender fluidity. Recent research from the Human Rights Campaign, published as a study entitled Growing up LGBT in America, reflects a growing acceptance of LGBT youth by their peers, while simultaneously showing that LGBT youth are more likely than their peers to experience verbal harassment, exclusion and physical attacks at school. In addition, 78 percent of transgender Americans say they have experienced workplace discrimination at some time.

A recent study of 150,000 college students by the Association of American Universities (AAU) found:

ATIXA supports gender nonconforming and transgender individuals enrolled and/or employed by schools and colleges and welcomes the diversity they bring. ATIXA hopes that members will endeavor to assure that school and college communities will be safe, hospitable and supportive for those gender nonconforming and transgender individuals within our communities.

Here are several starting steps ATIXA encourages its members to take:

ATIXA hopes that soon, OCR and the courts will provide clear guidance that discrimination based on gender nonconformity, gender identity, gender expression and transgender status constitutes sex or gender discrimination under Title IX, requiring a civil rights, equity-based response from any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Post to Twitter Add to Facebook

Latest Discrimination and Abuse Publications

The above information is from our reference library of resources relating to Discrimination and Abuse that includes:

Lack of Sexually Injuries Does Not Mean Rape Victim Is Making It Up thumbnail image.
A new study reveals the absence of sexually related injuries cannot be used in court to infer that rape victims are making it up.
Publish Date: 8th Oct 2023
Why Sexually Harassed People Might Not Come Forward Immediately or at All thumbnail image.
What would a reasonable person do? Exploring the gap between experienced and anticipated responses to sexual harassment.
Publish Date: 10th Jun 2023
Some LGBT Allies Don't Want Gay Neighbors thumbnail image.
Study explores stigmatizing behaviors expressed by avid supporters of sexual minorities in a survey 8.5% who said they were fully accepting of gay people did not want gay neighbors.
Publish Date: 6th Mar 2023
Moderate Intoxication Does Not Impair Sexual Assault Recall thumbnail image.
Women can recall details of sexual assault and rape with accuracy, even if they have drunk, or expected to drink, moderate amounts of alcohol.
Publish Date: 1st Feb 2023 - Updated: 3rd Feb 2023


1How Many Genders Are There?
Alphabetical list of gender identities.

2Transgender Reporting Guide
How to write about transgender people.

3Glossary of Sexuality Terms
Definitions of sexual terms & acronyms.

4Glossary of Sexual Identities
Definitions of gender related terms.

5Am I Gay? Questions to Ask
Think you may be gay or bisexual?

• Submissions: Send us your coming events and LGBTQ related news stories.


• Report Errors: Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.



• (APA): Association of Title IX Administrators. (2015, October 10). Title IX: Gender Identity & Gender Expression. SexualDiversity.org. Retrieved May 24, 2024 from www.sexualdiversity.org/discrimination/520.php


• Permalink: <a href="https://www.sexualdiversity.org/discrimination/520.php">Title IX: Gender Identity & Gender Expression</a>