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The National Women's Law Center on Monday blasted the Education Department for investigating Yale University for potentially discriminating against men, saying the Trump administration appears hostile toward a key federal gender discrimination law.

In response to questions from Inside Higher Ed, Adaku Onyeka-Crawford, senior counsel for the center, said that a complaint filed by a doctoral student unaffiliated with Yale was not legitimate.

Kursat Christoff Pekgoz, a doctoral student at the University of Southern California, told Inside Higher Ed he filed a complaint with the department because women are no longer underrepresented in higher education and that certain Yale programs and scholarships that exclusively benefit women go against Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

In an interview, Onyeka-Crawford said Title IX was originally created to reverse historic inequities for women and girls and that federal regulations allow for such programs to accomplish this. These programs may need to exist to increase female participation in areas where it would usually lack, she said.

She said that the department does not seem to be welcoming to certain marginalized communities and called it “frustrating” that it was taking up the complaint. She noted how the department is no longer investigating claims under Title IX concerning transgender students and their desire to use the bathroom that matches their gender identities. 

“I don’t understand why they would be taking this up,” Onyeka-Crawford said. “They are hostile to what title ix means, its effect and how it has been effective in increasing participation marginalized students in education.”