U-shaped public toilet seats

The Straight Dope’s “classic” columns archives includes one (02-Mar-90) on why public toilet seats are always “U” shaped, whereas residential toilet seats are always round. Cecil replied that it was because “men are pigs”, and the gap makes it easier to keep the thing from becoming totally gross.

I just returned from 3 weeks in Australia. During that period, I used perhaps 20 public men’s toilets all over the country, AND EVERY ONE OF THEM HAD A ROUND TOILET SEAT. Not one was U-shaped.

From which we may draw one of the several possible conclusions:

  1. Cecil Adams is wrong. This, of course, is an impossibility.

  2. Australian men are far cleaner and more fastidious than American men. Possible, but I kind of doubt it, having seen a reasonable cross-section of the Aussie male population.

  3. The Aussies are more fastidious with their public toilets, cleaning them long before they can become gross. Possible…they seem to still care about public services there, more so than in the U.S.

  4. The Aussies just don’t care. Well, maybe…they do have that Crocodile Dundee image to keep up.

  5. It’s because their toilet seats are made of such thin, flimsy plastic that a U-shaped one would lack the necessary rigidity, and would dump the seat-ee either onto the floor or into the bowl as it flexed under the guy’s weight. I vote for this explanation.

Whatever the reason, U-shaped public toilet seats don’t exist in Australia. Therefore, public toilet seats are not “always” U-shaped.

It ain’t just (some) men who are pigs. Women drip, too. Are they pigs about it? Maybe, especially when they are in public toilets that they don’t have to clean afterwards and that probably have no paper, anyway.

According to another Cecil column: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/990416.html
“Women’s public restrooms contained twice as much fecal bacteria as men’s.” He makes excuses for women–kids are shitty, etc., and that’s true as far as it goes–but I happen to know that a lot of women are not necessarily as clean and pure and angelic as some guys might like to imagine.

But, that column adds, it isn’t the toilet seat, but the kitchen sink that you’ve really got to watch out for.

To the OP, thanks for your reference to the column, but it’s even better to post a link to it. Simply type then, without spaces, paste in the url and add after it. It ends up looking like this:
http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a4_006.html which is the link to the column about toilet seats. If those instructions aren’t clear enough, go to the UBB instructions, on this (or the home) page. Thanks.