This comment evaluates the constitutionality of affirmative action policies that benefit male students. Part I sets out background information about potential causes of action and remedies for female students who challenge affirmative action policies that benefit male students. Section A discusses the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the development of the law regarding universities’ use of racial affirmative action policies. Section B discusses potential remedies under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) and the similarity between Title IX and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (“Title VI”). Section C discusses state remedies available to students under educational equity statutes, human rights laws, and state equal rights amendments. Part II begins with a discussion of the relevant distinctions between racial affirmative action policies and affirmative action policies benefiting male applicants and sets forth a proposed framework to analyze male affirmative action policies. This Comment concludes that affirmative action policies benefiting males are unconstitutional because of colleges’ reliance on gender stereotypes when implementing them and because there is a lack of evidence to support a legitimate pedagogical objective for the use of such programs.

Recommended Citation

Franzese, Debra, “The Gender Curve: An Analysis of Colleges' Use of Affirmative Action Policies to Benefit Male Applicants.” American University Law Review 56, no. 3 (February 2007): 719-750.