Sex harassment complaints under Title IX greatly increase at colleges

Complaints filed under Title IX at U.S. colleges increased nearly five times over 20 years, a new study shows.

Title IX is the a gender-equity law used to prevent discrimination at American colleges that receive federal financial assistance. From 1994 to 2014, the number of complaints filed increased by around 1,100 or so, according to an analysis of the Yale study conducted by Inside Higher Ed.

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Complaints related to college admissions and classes are the most common but reports related to athletics and sexual harassment increased dramatically over the 20 year period the study examined.

The study attributes the increase to a widening understanding of discrimination. Greater access to Title IX information is also thought to be a factor that local colleges have often cited.

Gov. John Kasich in February asked the Ohio Department of Higher Education to review Title IX practices on college campuses after the Larry Nassar case came to light at Michigan State University. The department conducted a survey of all colleges with athletics programs and is compiling the results for future use, officials have said.

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There are 18 federal Title IX investigations currently active at Ohio colleges, including seven at Dayton area schools.

With three ongoing probes, Miami University and the College of Wooster had the most active investigations in the state, according to records from the U.S. Department of Education. Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati which each have two active probes.


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By the numbers

150 to 300: Average number of annual complaints in early 1990s.

526: Number of complaints filed in 1999.

1,379: Number of complaints filed in 2013.

1,446: Number of complaints filed in 2014.

Source: Inside Higher Ed analysis of Yale University study.

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