The Toilet Seat Debate
A major question comes into play when there are two people of the opposite sex using the same toilet. This trivial question evokes a certain amount of emotion from both males and females in many households. This question is raised many times yet no solution is found. It's almost a certainty that unless someone has not shared a toilet with the opposite sex, one has undoubtedly debated at least to a certain extent whether or not the toilet seat should be down or up. Which is it? This research shows that the toilet was made with a lid for a reason. Gentleman, that reason is not for a back rest while doing the deed. It’s actually made to close. If everyone, not ...view middle of the document...
50 the optimal placement is either up or down. The TSR is calculated for all combinations of 1 – 5 males and 0 – 6 females”. (Andreson)
Figure1. Toilet Seat Ratio
Table1. Toilet Seat Ratios, ad nauseam
Surprisingly many different professionals have devised their own mathematical formulas to end this debate. “The Social Norm of Leaving the Toilet Seat Down: A Game Theoretic Analysis”, written by Hammad Siddiqi states, “…If a female finds the toilet seat in a wrong position then she will most probably yell at the male involved. This yelling inflicts a cost on the male. Based on this omission, women may argue that the analysis in these papers is suspect” (Siddiqi). While Andreson’s points are valid, Siddiqi’s use of social logic over sheer mathematics is refreshing. Siddiqi points out that not only is there a scientific way of looking at this dispute between men and women, there is also an emotional reality that cannot be ignored. Half the time males must raise the seat. Females don’t usually raise the seat for anything other than cleaning. This is the crux of the argument.
One important detail that is most often forgotten in the “great debate” is safety. There have been repeated horror stories of children drowning in either the toilet or bathtub while unsupervised for even a few seconds. Research has shown many different safety devices that can be used to reduce or eliminate these tragedies. These devices all require leaving the toilet seat down, such as a toilet lid lock. The toilet lock keeps the lid tightly closed and children safe. The lock helps prevent toddlers from opening the toilet lid, yet allows adults and older children to open it easily. They fit most standard toilets, are inexpensive, easy to find and install. Despite all the finger pointing and “he said, she said”, safety concerns should be at the top of the list when debating whether or not to leave the seat up or down.
The arguments men and women use to debate their point range from the purely selfish to the desire to keep children safe. However, with each of these arguments there is always a counter argument. This is not the case with the issue of hygiene. Dr. Charles Gerba states that, “…the germy ejecta from a toilet flush looks like Baghdad at night during a U.S. air attack”. If consideration is given to other more personal objects that are normally kept in the bathroom, this doesn’t sound very appealing. A question of proper hygiene is raised when using a toothbrush or hairbrush that has been exposed to Gerba’s “germy ejecta”. There are several ways to avoid transmitting airborne toilet germs from the toothbrush or hairbrush. These items could be sterilized in some manner before each use, or they could be stored in a different area all together; but nothing is as simple as putting down the lid of the toilet. “…when you flush the toilet with the toilet seat up, a plume...