Title IX is an antidiscrimination statute passed in 1972 that applies to schools and colleges that receive federal funding. Under Title IX, schools that receivesfederal funds cannot discriminate against any person on the basis of sex. Title IX covers any public or private preschool, elementary, or secondary school, as well as colleges, universities, and vocational and professional schools.

Discrimination covers a wide range of intentional unequal treatment and can include employment decisions, admissions decisions, access to athletic programs, as well as sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual assault. Discrimination on the basis of sex includes sex stereotyping. Sex stereotyping occurs when a person assumes that another person will conform to the stereotypes typically associated with a person of their sex and then treats them unequally when they do not.

An educational institution that receives federal funds may be liable not just for the actions of its employees, but also for the actions of a student towards other students. For example, if the school or university knows that a student is engaging in sexual harassment of other students and allows it to continue, the school or university may be liable under Title IX.