Lynn Cope

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

M. Lewis Wasserman


The sexual interaction among students and educators has become a significant social issue in higher education, resulting in claims being brought to the U.S. courts by students and parents alleging sex discrimination and sexual harassment. These claims have been based on three principal legal theories: 1) the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, (2) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C.A. §2000), and (3) Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C.A. §1681-1863). During its first phase, this study examined U.S. Courts of Appeal and U.S. District Court decisions involving sex discrimination in higher education between students and faculty or administration, brought to the court under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Title VII, and Title IX. The study's purpose was to examine the relationship among judges' political ideology, judges' gender, judges' appointment era, plaintiffs' gender, and judges' voting in sex discrimination disputes. Judges' individual voting, the single binary dependent variable, was classified as pro-plaintiff (liberal) or pro-defendant (conservative). Political ideology, appointment era, judges' gender, and plaintiffs' gender were set up as independent predictors.In addition to examining the relationship among the independent variables and individual voting, the study in its second phase examined case outcomes in United States Courts of Appeal to determine, among other things, if the composition of an appellate panel influenced decisional outcomes. The independent predictors in this phase of the study were the gender majority of the panel, the appointment era majority of the panel, the ideological majority of the panel, and the plaintiffs' gender. The binary dependent variable was the case decisional outcome, either pro-plaintiff (liberal) or pro-defendant (conservative). Results with the individual database indicated that political ideology and plaintiffs' gender were factors which influenced judge voting. Results of the panel database indicated that appointment era majority and plaintiffs' gender were significant factors influencing case outcome. .


Education | Educational Leadership


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington