Understanding the Biden Administration’s Proposed Title IX Rule: Exploring Gender and Sexuality Diversity

January 3, 2024

The Biden Administrations Proposed Title IX Rule

The Biden Administration is advocating for a redefined Title IX rule, aiming to encompass a broader definition of sexual harassment. This proposed rule includes a new definition of sexual harassment that would include protections against discrimination based on gender identity (also known as gender diversity), sexual orientation (also known as sexuality diversity), sexual characteristics and stereotyping, and pregnancy. If implemented, it would mark the first time that Title IX’s regulations explicitly address gender and sexuality diversity within the realms of harassment and discrimination. In practical terms, actions hindering a student’s participation in school programs aligned with their gender identity could constitute a violation of Title IX.

The proposed Title IX rule aims to address various terms that could potentially be unfamiliar to many parents. This blog is structured to offer definitions and categories relevant to the rule for the sake of clarity and accessibility.

What’s the Difference Between Sex and Gender?

To understand the implications of this rule, it’s beneficial to explore how it establishes the differentiation between sex and gender. The rule relies on distinctions wherein sex encompasses biological elements like anatomy, physiology, genetics, and hormones, used to categorize individuals as male or female. Meanwhile, gender is acknowledged as a construct shaped by diverse social and cultural influences.

Gender Diversity

The proposed rule aims to protect and encompass various gender identities. Some of the more common gender identities include:

  • Agender: absence of gender or gender expression.
  • Cisgender: gender identity is same as sex assigned at birth.
  • Transgender: gender identity does not match the sex assigned at birth, person may identify anywhere along the gender spectrum or as non-binary.
  • Non-binary: does not identify as male or female.
  • Genderfluid: gender identity that changes over time.
  • Pangender: experiencing all genders.

Sexuality Diversity

Descriptive terms for sexuality are encompassed within the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, denoting:

  • Lesbian: someone who identifies as a woman and is attracted to women.
  • Gay: someone who identifies as a man and is attracted to men.
  • Bisexual: someone who is attracted to people of the same gender and another gender.
  • Transgender: someone whose gender identity does not match the sex assigned at birth, person may identify anywhere along the gender spectrum or as non-binary.
  • Queer/questioning: anything other than cisgender or heterosexual.
  • Intersex: someone who is born with chromosomes, reproductive organs or genitals that don’t fit the narrow medical or social expectations for what it means to have a male or female body.
  • Asexual: someone who has low or no attraction to any gender.

All students have the right to learn in an educational setting free from bullying, harassment, or exclusion. Parents should be equipped to address these issues by lodging Title IX complaints with their school. If an educational institution fails to address a complaint, parents can escalate the matter by filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights.

If you are a student victim of sexual harassment or discrimination based on gender diversity or sexuality diversity, contact the Student Advocate Attorneys at KJK. For more information or to discuss further, please contact KJK Student Advocate, Dayna Hloska (DMH@kjk.com; 216.736.7236), or Student & Athlete Defense attorneys Susan Stone (SCS@kjk.com; 216.736.7220) or Kristina Supler (KWS@kjk.com; 216.736.7217).