Law School Home Page UChicago Home Page Comments Maps Directories Search Law School Site Map

Toilet Survey


Although there is a great deal of informal griping about the long lines for women's toilets in many public facilities, there is not that much detailed information. In particular, because men and women rarely compare detailed notes about toilet facilities, there seems to be a tendency on the part of both sexes to assume that an equal number of toilet facilities are available to men and women, but women simply take longer, resulting in longer lines. In fact, however, most older public toilets do not seem to offer anything like equality of opportunity to men and women. Because urinals take up less space than stalls and because men's rooms also generally devote less space to mirrors, couches and other amenities, these facilities often can accommodate up to twice as many men as women using at any given time.

This survey is an attempt to collect information on how the other half lives. We hope that, when you go out in public in mixed-sex groups, you will take a few moments to record information about what is available to both men and women by way of toilet facilities and send this information back to us. We recognize that this sort of informal survey is no substitute for formal and systematic data gathering. But we hope it can contribute to the process of sharing information and raising awareness. Thank you for your help.

PLEASE NOTE: Despite the generally sensitive and occasionally humorous nature of discussions about toilets and toilet practices, we are taking this survey seriously and are very interested in accuracy and objectivity in the responses. This information will be used for academic purposes.


The best way to complete this survey is to print out the form (Adobe PDF version), take it with you to record your experiences, and then either fill out the results in our on line form, mail us the form, or email your answers to Please be as complete and accurate as possible. If you have any questions, please email Professor Mary Anne Case at



Name of establishment:
City and state:
Date, Time and Day of week of visit:

Type of establishment (e.g. movie theatre/restaurant/stadium/store):

How are the facilities labeled (e.g. Men/Gentlemen/Boys/Hombres/stick figure in pants/other pictogram or picture vs. Women/Ladies/stick figure in skirt/female symbol/photo of female star or cartoon character, etc.):
How many stalls are available in the men's room?
How many urinals?
Do the men's room stalls have doors that close?
How many stalls in the women's room?
Any urinals?
How many sinks in the men's room?
The women's room?
How many of what additional services were available? (answer all that apply)
Mirror (Men's) Mirror (Women's)
Vanity Table (Men's) Vanity Table (Women's)
Chair (Men's) Chair (Women's)
Fainting Couch (Men's) Fainting Couch (Women's)
Attendant (Men's) Attendant (Women's)
Baby Changing Table (Men's) Baby Changing Table (Women's)
Nursing or Breast Pumping Station (Men's) Nursing or Breast Pumping Station (Women's)
Other (Please Specify):

Are there dispensers stocked with (check all that apply):

Toilet Paper (Men's) Toilet Paper (Women's)
Soap (Men's) Soap (Women's)
Towels (Men's) Towels (Women's)
Condoms (Men's) Condoms (Women's)
Tampons (Men's) Tampons (Women's)
Cologne (Men's) Cologne (Women's)
Razors (Men's) Razors (Women's)
Shoe Shine (Men's) Shoe Shine (Women's)
Diapers (Men's) Diapers (Women's)
Other (please specify):
Was there grafitti? On what themes? (Men's Room)
Was there grafitti? On what themes? (Women's Room)
Was there conversation? On what themes? (Men's Room)
Was there conversation? On what themes? (Women's Room)
Was there sexual activity? Criminal activity (e.g. theft, assault, drugs)? (Men's Room)
Was there sexual activity? Criminal activity (e.g. theft, assault, drugs)? (Women's Room)
How long was the line for men?
How long was the line for women?
How many children of what sex/what age/using which sex's facility were accompanied by a parent?
Were there a disproportionate number of one sex or the other using the establishment as a whole ? (e.g. were you there attending a conference on women's issues/reunion of varsity football players):
Did the establishment offer an alternative to sex-segregated toilets? (e.g. unisex/unisex handicapped/family restroom):
Anything else noteworthy?