This Note examines if, and to what degree, courts should consider the pressure put on universities to address sexual misconduct on campus as support for an accused student’s Title IX claim of gender discrimination during university disciplinary proceedings. This Note begins in Part II by discussing the prevalence of campus sexual assault and the ways in which Title IX is used to address it on university campuses. Part III examines reverse Title IX claims by accused students, including the various causes of action and the pleading standards required. Part III also surveys the success of reverse Title IX claims using public pressure on universities to address sexual assault to support their allegations of gender discrimination. Part IV then evaluates the way summary judgment rules and burden-shifting frameworks affect the likelihood of success for reverse Title IX claims. Finally, Part V emphasizes the need for clarity and consistency in the evaluation of reverse Title IX claims. In considering the purposes and policies of Title IX, this Note ultimately argues that reverse Title IX claims, especially those relying on external pressure on universities, should be assessed in a strict and limited manner going forward. This Note concludes in Part VI by discussing the possibilities of proposed changes to federal regulations and their impact on reverse Title IX claims.
Courtney Joy McMullan
January 6, 2020