Public Urinals Stress Men Out
Men tend to get stressed out about using the urinal in a public restroom, according to a recent study from the University of London. Etiquette seems to dictate that, in a side-by-side urinal setting, merely making eye contact can lead to a fight.
Researchers say that men, more so than women, suffer from insecurity and fear when faced with using a public restroom. “I was really surprised by how stressful public toilets can be for men,” said Dr. Sarah Moore, lead author of the study. “Quite a few of our participants reported feeling so intimidated and nervous in certain bathrooms that they were physically unable to use the facilities.”
Researchers found that most men will do everything possible to avoid drawing attention to themselves while using a public bathroom, because a deviation from the unwritten code of lavatory standards may be enough to incite a brawl.
The situation is quite different in the adjacent bathroom. “For women, public toilets are often convivial places, offering up the possibility to make friends and socialize,” said Moore. “But for males, the most significant problem was the co-presence of other men and the possibility of violence if a breach of toilet etiquette occurred.”
Researchers say nearly 7 percent of the public suffers from paruresis, a toilet anxiety commonly referred to as stage fright. Incidentally, this condition is just as common in women as it is in men.