Tuesday, September 18, 2007

On Men In Toilets (This Post Has Nothing To Do With Larry Craig)

This report in the New York Times says that one third of men don't wash their hands after using the bathroom, compared with about one eighth of women. So they're basically saying almost 70 percent of men wash their hands after going pee-pee or poo-poo. That, my friends, is complete bullshit. These researchers really need to spread their wings to the public bathrooms I use (airports, bars and the entire campus of the University of Chicago). I guarantee you no more than one quarter of men wash their hands after using the bathroom. It's bloody disgusting. And I'm being generous and including "spraying water without soap on your fingertips for all of seventeen nanoseconds" in the general category of "washing". In this respect, Americans, and Westerners in general, are frigging gross. They really are. (Actually, I don't have much of a leg to stand on here - I'm from a country where it is perfectly acceptable to kneel down and pee on the road).

Another finding of the study that I have issue with is this:
New York was Second City to Chicago in cleanliness. In restrooms at the Windy City's Shedd Aquarium and Museum of Science and Industry, 81 percent of men and women combined washed their hands, compared to 79 percent at the Big Apple's Penn and Grand Central train stations.

First of all, a two percent difference doesn't mean anything. Secondly, and more importantly, there is a massive likelihood of selection bias here. Look at the bathrooms the researchers used: an aquarium and a museum in Chicago, compared with the two of the three busiest subway stations in New York. You think the average museum goer in Chicago might be a tad more sophisticated - and thus more likely to be clean - than the average subway rider in New York?


Asad said...

dude... too much free time. get a hobby.
have you tried curling? its an olympic sport, y'know.

feel free to not actually publish this particular comment.

Ahsan said...

wait, how does me posting twice in one day necessarily translate into "too much free time"?

oh, and this is my friggin hobby.