Metro Weekly

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GenderPAC tracks equality in academia

GenderPAC, the D.C.-based, human-rights organization working to eliminate gender stereotypes, released its 2007 GENIUS Index, tracking efforts in academe to promote awareness of and prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and expression, Aug. 27, as so many campuses welcomed students for the fall semester. The index’s acronym stands for ”Gender Equality National Index for Universities & Schools.”

GenderPAC looked at 25 ”top” universities — as ranked by U.S. News & World Report magazine — including two in the region: Georgetown University and the University of Virginia. The index shows that neither Georgetown nor U.Va. include both ”gender identity and expression” and ”sexual orientation” in their non-discrimination policies. Nor do they offer gender-neutral housing options. Both universities do, however, offer gender-neutral restrooms.

When it comes to kindgarten-12th grade, the index looked at what school systems have anti-harassment policies inclusive of gender identity and expression. Within the same region, two systems fit the bill: District of Columbia Public Schools and Virginia’s Roanoke School District.

The GENIUS Index is available online at

Follow Will O'Bryan on Twitter @wobryan.