Title IX is part of the landmark Education Amendments Act of 1972 which prohibits sex discrimination in education. Title IX is not just about sports; it addresses discrimination against pregnant and parenting students and women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs. It also addresses sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, and sexual violence. Sexual violence includes attempted or completed rape or sexual assault, as well as sexual harassment, stalking, voyeurism, exhibitionism, verbal or physical sexuality-based threats or abuse, and intimate partner violence.
Click on the following topics to learn more about Title IX:
- Basic Information on Title IX
- Detailed Information on Title IX
- Information on Student Economic Rights with Title IX
- Concerns about Filing a Title IX Report
Definitions You Need to Know
Harassment is a form of discrimination that includes verbal, physical, or other conduct that is unwelcome and sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment that interferes with the individual’s job performance or educational opportunities.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct that is sexual in nature, whether verbal, written, online or physical. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a person who has power or authority over another. Sexual harassment occurs when submission to sexual conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of rating or evaluating an individual’s educational or employment progress, development, or performance. Included in this definition is submission to such conduct when the conduct is believed to be a condition for access to receiving benefits of the educational or employment program. Examples of conduct which may constitute SEXUAL HARASSMENT include, but are not limited to:
- Repeated unwelcome sexual propositions, teasing, joking or flirting;
- Persistent unwelcomed efforts to develop a romantic or sexual relationship;
- Graphic comments about a person’s body;
- Sexually suggestive objects or pictures in the workplace or classroom;
- Sexually degrading words to describe a person;
- Derogatory or sexually explicit statements about an actual or supposed sexual relationship;
- Unwelcome touching, patting, pinching or leering; or
- Derogatory gender-based humor.
Discrimination includes, but is not limited to, treating individuals differently because of their protected status, in connection with the terms and conditions of employment or educational opportunities. Discrimination does not occur, however, when an individual is treated differently than another individual for legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons.
Sexual Assault is actual or attempted physical sexual contact committed by force or without the full and informed consent of all persons involved. Sexual assault includes rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape as defined below.
- Rape. The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
- Fondling. The touching of the private body parts (including genitalia, groin, breast or buttocks, or clothing covering any of those areas) of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
- Incest. Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
- Statutory rape. Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent (within the state of Missouri, age of consent is 17).
Sexual Misconduct collectively refers to the terms “sexual assault,” “stalking,” “domestic violence,” and “dating violence,” as defined herein. Sexual misconduct can also include the following:
- Using force to cause a person to touch his or her own or another person’s intimate parts; penetration (anal, oral or vaginal) by a penis, tongue, finger, or an inanimate object;
- Taking sexual advantage of another person without consent, including causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person;
- Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection, including HIV, to another person;
- Causing the prostitution of another person;
- Allowing third parties to observe sexual acts;
- Engaging in voyeurism;
- Distributing intimate or sexual information about another person; and
- Capturing or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds or images of another person.
Sexual misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual misconduct can be committed by men or women, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex.
Sexual exploitation occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
- Invasion of sexual privacy;
- Prostituting another student;
- Non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;
- Going beyond the boundaries of consent;
- Engaging in voyeurism;
- Knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student;
- Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances
Assault is an act intended to cause apprehension of harmful or offensive contact that causes apprehension of such contact in the victim. An assault must be overt and requires physical contact to a victim whether it is from another person or a person wielding objects with malicious intent and action.