Why Queues For Women’s Toilets Are Longer Than Men’s, According To Science

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2. Clothes and design

Women’s clothing often takes longer to unfasten, remove and replace, in order to use the toilet in the standard Western seated position. The idea of more than two layers of clothing (under and outer) may be completely mystifying to many men, but women often wear three or more, for practical or fashion purposes (or both).

Urinals need less space than cubicles, so more men can use the toilet at the same time. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Then there are the design considerations of public toilets. The spatial area of the men’s and the ladies’ toilets may be the same. But a urinal, or several, require less space than a cubicle. So there is less area for women to empty their bladder in the women’s toilets, which means fewer women can use them at any one time.

Also, the urinals in men’s toilets means more individuals can get in and out without having to open, close and lock doors and then open again, or wipe a toilet seat. Although the manbag has caught on among some, most men don’t carry much with them that needs to be safely hung behind a toilet door. So, they already have their hands free and don’t need to look for (and juggle) where to put things.

Read more: How far have we come since the ’80s vision of the ‘non-sexist city’?

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