11 Points

Who Is the Worst Person to Overhear You on the Toilet? Science Has an Answer
written by Sam Greenspan

Somewhere, Marie Curie is saying, "My fingernails peeled off so future scientists could do this?"



Today I'm going to dig into a study out of Indiana University that's a few years old but still ever so relevant. It's called "Fecal Matters: Habitus, Embodiments and Deviance" which is pretty much THE lipstickiest-on-a-pig way to title a study on, colloquially, poop and farts.

But there's certainly value here. These are rather taboo, private subjects. It's interesting to get a credible answer on what other people are thinking and feeling. It's good to find out if your internal balance of scatological humor and self-consciousness is calibrated like the average person.

Here are three major topics from the study.

Who finds farts funny?

23.1 percent of straight men "often engage in intentional flatulence." That's no surprise; the rest of the results might be. Gay women are second-most likely, at 12.5 percent; straight women are third, at 7.2 percent; and gay men are fourth, at 5.3 percent.

I am now trying to make groups of 14 straight women I know to figure out who's the one intentionally passing gas.

Who hates pooping in public bathrooms?

Straight men in a landslide. 50 percent are "not comfortable defecating in a public restroom." That's compared to 31.3 percent of gay women; 26.3 percent of gay men; and 23.2 percent of straight women. Although there's no breakdown of why these people avoiding avoid public bathrooms: Cleanliness? Discomfort? Embarrassment?

The study also found more than two-thirds of gay men and straight women try to wait until a bathroom clears out before they let their bowels move; around one-third of gay women and straight men do the same.

29 percent of straight women also use a technique where they just keep on repeatedly flush to cover the sounds -- who cares about the environment, a tiny amount of perceived embarrassment is at stake! Conversely, 0.0 percent of straight men use the nonstop flushing cover-up method.

Who's the worst person to hear you on the toilet?

The study only ranked 10 answers (go to 11, guys, you're better than that):

1. New person you're attracted to, embarrassment factor of 2.19 out of 3
2. A new date, 1.98
3. A woman you know well, 1.48
4. A man you know well, 1.42
5. A male stranger, .99
6. A female stranger, .95
7. A significant relationship, .79
8. A good female friend, .67
9. A good male friend, .67
10. Spouse or partner, .41

If that isn't the most ringing endorsement of marriage, I don't know what is. No more shame!


This post was originally published on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Personal.

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