When only public bathrooms are available, do women act on their urge quicker than men?

Very often when I’m on line to get into the bathroom for a pee, I see the inevitably longer line of women waiting to get into their bathroom.

I understand the reasons for this and I always feel bad for the women.

I’ve thought of this on line, sometimes while trying like hell to hold it in, and thinking about similar cases w/ women:

I will assume men and women have the same pee flow rate, and the reasons for the line is the whole chick clothing up-and-downing thing, etc.

Now, all people have internalized a “should-I-stay or should-go-now” clock regarding to their urge and the distance, expected crowd, or other factors having to do with the restroom.

This has lead me to believe that women react to far less insistent urge (“vesical pressure”, as Joyce put it)–or_should_–to make their way towards the bathroom, whereas men can put off the decision till later.

Comments? I actually have thought of this often, having bladder troubles of my own.

I thought about something similar last week when I was at a bar that had 2 unisex bathrooms instead of a mens and a womens and I had to wait a not inconsiderable amount of time to pee. By the end of the wait, I really regretted putting it off as long as I had.

In an interesting inversion, both bathrooms opened up at the same time when I was 3rd in line. A man went into one and two women in the other. The two women emerged first to much wonderment of the crowd.

My observation is that women will hold it until there’s an acceptable place to go. So the line may be women who have been waiting awhile. Either they just got there, or they’ve been waiting for a while and the passage of time has made the facilities more acceptable.

A local establishment I frequent is known for it’s clean lady’s room (disuse makes it easier to keep clean I guess). Late at night women will begin to show up following their adventures elsewhere so they can have a clean, safe place to take care of matters.

In addition, even the smallest men’s rooms usually have a toilet and a urinal, while the lady’s have only the toilet and are used individually. Besides the extra steps involved if you can’t do it standing up, I assume women usually wash better than men (at least I hope so), and spend more time in front of the mirror.

As a slight hijack, are they men’s and lady’s rooms, or* mens *and ladies rooms?

I always figured that it takes more time for women to go pee.
Woman: Put away purse, clean toilet seat, take off pants/lift skirt, etc.
Man: Walk to urinal, unzip, pee.
Maybe 4x more time vs men going to urinal

Don’t forget that ppl do #2 also.
Perhaps they should have 50% of the women’s stalls labelled as express (Pee only).

Often there are fewer facilities in the women’s rest room, since toilets take up more space that urinals. It’s also more complicated for women to get ready to use a toilet.

Nope. While average bladder size is about the same, women also need to go to the bathroom to change/empty higienic products (as well as the aforementioned #2, but let’s assume the same rate for that one in both sexes), are more likely to have UTIs (one of whose symptoms is a need to urinate frequently) and, due partly to shorter urethras and partly to complications derived from vaginal delivery, more likely to suffer from urine retention issues. And those who retain liquids right before their periods need to go to the bathroom a lot of times during their periods, to pee that excess liquid.

If I’m at a large concert or something I will often go before I really need to; this prevents “having” to go during a break when the lines are long. I’ll also go before the end in order to avoid the inevitable TP extinction event.

I vote men’s and ladies’.

The plural of man is men.

The plural of lady is ladies.

The possessive form of those are men’s and ladies’

It drives me nuts when I’m in a department store and see a sign on the wall that says “MENS”. That’s not a word.

Yeah, sorry, I picked poor alternates. I was just wondering if it’s meant to be plural or possesive, or both.

My take. I don’t notice much difference in pee willingness, it seems (confirmation bias) that women need to go more often, except it places like the woods where men feel more comfortable walking fifty paces and then just going.

When men go to the bathroom, they want to go in, pee, and get out. No talking to the guy next to you, no eying his shoes. Women often treat it as a social event, to talk about their dates, tell secrets a friend told. The other women in line just have to go, and are sneaking glances at the mens’ room door and contemplating sneaking in there when it’s not in use.

I know, right? Every time I see the phrase “Mens Department,” I think I’m in the mind’s section of the store. :eek: What the hell is that!? Minds don’t wear clothes! I mean, occipital camisoles? amygdala miniskirts? That apostrophe is absolutely necessary to remove any ambiguity as to what section of the store I’m in!! How stupid can you GET? :mad:

Okay, not really. It’s a retail sign, not a research paper in the field of apostrophical studies. This is SUCH a common mistake that many educated people still don’t know which form is proper. Men’s? Mens’? Mens? Menses (okay, maybe not)? It’s so low on the scale of annoying signage as to not even register on my radar.

You did remind me of a good story about “skin milk,” though. :smiley:

My own observational bias is that men have an enormously smaller tolerance for “holding it.” Living in a big city and taking public transportation every day has led me to this conclusion and I doubt there’s anything anyone can say to make me change my mind. I couldn’t hope to count the number of guys I’ve seen pissing behind dumpsters and on train platforms - and why the hell they can’t at least go to the end of the platform and piss off the edge is beyond me. Oh no, they have to piss ON something, like a steel support post, so others have to walk over, around, or through it.

I make what I believe to be a 90% correct assumption whenever I see a wet spot on a sidewalk, especially next to a wall, it’s not drainage from a previous rain, it’s not air conditioner runoff, it’s not a spilled drink. It’s likely piss from a weak-bladdered dude.

There’s one particular dumpster in the alley behind the nearest El stop to my home. I bust a guy pissing behind that dumpster at least twice a week. I’ve made an amusing pastime for myself by pulling out my flashlight and shining it at them. They either run away, apologize, act like they’re not suddenly well lit, or beg me not to call the police. (my favorite is the dick-flapping running and trying to tuck and zip. gives me a giggle fit every time) Since I’m just one person making one trip home once a day, I can’t imagine how many dudes actually piss there every day. There must be gallons of piss soaked into the strip of dirt behind that dumpster. Disgusting. And seriously, how far from home/destination could they possibly be? 10 minutes, tops?

There aren’t as many appliances in women’s room - compared to the men’s. So the men’s room can handle a greater number of men - compared to the women’s.

It’s called batch processing.

Well yeah, but it’s also because they can. Women are usually shyer about that kind of thing, plus it takes longer and requires pulling pants down further. Men can give a quick glance over each shoulder, whip it out, pee, and zip up. In other words, tolerance for holding it can’t be assessed on this measure alone.

Also, the guys that you are seeing peeing in public aren’t going because they’re in pain because they have to go so back, and they checked, like, three places, and the gas station was closed, and McDonalds said they had to buy a coffee first, but they only had $0.11. They’re doing it because something is probably wrong with their heads. Although I have seen at least one chemically and/or neurochemically impaired homeless woman peeing right out in the open.

Me too, though for less unsavoury reasons. If I’m in a mixed-gender group at a pub the men will go to the loo much more frequently than the women.

It’s not that women can’t hold it in so well. If you had fewer peeing places to choose from (cubicles take up more space than urinals) and had to remove clothing to pee, you’d take longer to go too. Plus the other stuff Nava mentions. So there’s a queue.

Checking your make-up, washing your hands, etc, doesn’t cause the queue, since that happens outside the cubicle.

Yes, well, if I know there is going to be a long line-up for the women’s washroom, I don’t wait until my back teeth are floating to wander over there, so the OP is correct, I will respond sooner to the urge if I think I’m going to have to wait in line.

On a personal note, men are sometimes surprised at how quickly I am in and out of a public restroom. That would be because I don’t have makeup to fix and a hairdo to arrange and just get in and get done what needs to be done. Really not that big of a deal.

This is part of the conundrum for me. Women’s restrooms at major events often have enormously long lines, and yet I’ve observed that despite numerous jokes on the subject, women often “handle their business” as fast, if not faster than men. So I tend to think along the lines of the OP, that women just take the opportunity more often than men.

Here’s something to think about. I’m currently in the middle of potty training a toddler, and I’ve read over and over and heard from many different “experts” on the subject, that girls on average potty train much faster than boys, often a full year ahead of the average boy, and that the average girl stops wetting her bed a year or two faster than the average boy. I wonder if there’s any corrolation.

Interesting. Ignorance fought.