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Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

Federal statutory that guarantees equal educational opportunity for pregnant and parenting students.

Fact Sheet

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 External link opens in new window or tab. is the primary federal statutory guarantee of equal educational opportunity for pregnant and parenting students. Title IX applies to a broad range of educational institutions, including preschool, elementary, secondary and vocational schools, as well as institutions of higher education and professional schools. Title IX's coverage extends to most public and many private institutions as long as these institutions receive federal funding.

General Prohibition Against Discrimination (Section 106.31)

Sex Discrimination is prohibited in the treatment of students; provision of aid, benefits, or services; the application of rules of conduct and disciplinary measures or other sanctions; and the determination and assessment of fees, including residency requirements of attendance, admission, or tuition.

Discrimination Against Pregnant Students (Section 106.40)

Schools are prohibited from discriminating against pregnant students based upon their marital status and cannot discriminate against a student because of childbirth, false pregnancy, or recovery from these conditions.

A school is permitted to require a doctor's certificate from a pregnant student only if the school imposes the same requirement upon all other students with physical or emotional conditions requiring a physician's care.

Participation in special schools or programs reserved or designed for pregnant or parenting students must be completely voluntary on the part of the student. Such programs or schools must be comparable to programs and schools offered to non-pregnant students.

Schools must treat pregnancy as they treat other medical conditions. Health plans, medical benefits, and related services are to be provided to pregnant students in the same manner as services are provided to students with "other temporary disabilities."

A pregnant student may be granted a leave of absence for as long as it is deemed medically necessary and at the conclusion of her leave must be allowed to resume the status she held when the leave began.

Schools May Not Discriminate on the Basis of Marital or Parental Status (Section 106.40)

A school that excludes female students because of their marital or parental status but permits male students who are married or parents to continue their studies clearly violates this provision of the regulations.

The statute may, in addition, serve as a vehicle to challenge facially neutral rules that disproportionately harm students of one gender. For example, a rule prohibiting parents from bringing children under the age of six onto school property may violate Title IX if it was created to prevent female student parents from bringing babies to school or if it disproportionately affects female rather than male students.

Discriminatory Courses and Programs are Prohibited (Section 106.34)

The Title IX regulations forbid requiring a student to take a course or participate in a program on the basis of sex.

Classes devoted to human sexuality may be conducted separately for males and females in elementary and secondary school classes.

Discriminatory Counseling and Use of Appraisal and Counseling Materials are Prohibited (Section 106.36)

Discriminatory counseling and materials that treat students differently on the basis of sex are prohibited.

Programs Not Run Directly by the School (Section 106.31 {d})

The regulations prohibit discrimination in activities that are considered part of the school's education program even if they are not entirely operated by the school. Therefore, a student cannot be excluded from a program, such as a student exchange program, foreign study and travel, or course work offered in conjunction with other academic or non-academic institution on any basis prohibited by Title IX.

Fact Sheet summarized from information in Equal Educational Opportunities for Pregnant and Parenting Students: Meshing the Rights with the Realities by the Women's Right Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Association of University Women, 1990.

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Questions:   Early Education and Support Division | 916-322-6233
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