Why gender-separate single-occupancy public restrooms?

Usually when I see a single-occupancy restroom it is labeled as unisex and can be used by either gender. But I was in a Starbucks today that had a men’s and women’s, both single-occupancy.

Is there a reason for keeping them separate? It seems like it could potentially benefit men, since there would be less chance of having to wait in line if both stalls were occupied by women. But I think the last time anything was done publicly and specifically to benefit men was about 1875, so that can’t be the reason for it.

Men often miss the bowl, and almost without fail they leave the seat up. Yuck. Unless I’m desperate, I’ll wait in line for the (hopefully) cleaner women’s room.

I try the “men’s” room first, but won’t hesitate to use the “women’s” room if the “men’s” room is occupied.

Once there was a line for the “men’s” room and the “women’s” room was empty. I went right in. I got some funny looks on the way out, but then the rest of the men followed suit.

I was thinking you could leave out the urinal in the ladies room

And the women’s bathroom often has a baby changing area, and sometimes a tampon dispenser. Though I feel like I don’t see these as often as I did when I was younger.

Really? I thought the common wisdom from people who have cleaned both restrooms is that the women’s is typically filthier.

In this case the “men’s” room was just one toilet and one sink. No urinals in sight. I didn’t go into the women’s (obviously) but it’s not too wild an assumption that it was similarly outfitted. It didn’t occur to me that there could have been a baby changing table in there as well - but I have seen those in men’s rooms too.

Maybe it’s a little of both (men get shorter lines, women get cleaner bathrooms), plus simple tradition of people (in the US, anyway) expecting gender separation when there’s more than one bathroom?

FWIW, I worked at one Starbucks for a while and the men’s room is typically filthier, but the women’s was sometimes slightly bloody. Nothing a pair of rubber gloves and some chlorine wouldn’t cure in either case.

I have been to many public restrooms in many countries… and women’s bathrooms are filthier, hands down. Women “miss” the bowl because they’re squatting most of the time, especially when they’re drunk. Men have the advantage of better aim all the time.

I’m a woman by the way.

plus tissues. wet soggy tissues.

could it be building codes or a holdover from when it was once mandated?

:smack: ACCKK! I forgot about the whole hovering issue! Oh maaaan, I take it all back.

Having done maintenance and cleaning I will tell you the women in that town were gross. The bleeding deal leaves the bathrooms much worse. The women are the only ones that ever shit in the fitting rooms too in the 8 years the store was open. Go read a customers suck sight for the whole women peeing on everything and using the fitting rooms as a bathroom deal.

The only thing that was better for the womens room was less graffiti so less painting.

So a woman wouldn’t know how to complete “Some come here to sit and think…”?

I never knew that was gender-specific.

Or “Here I sit all broken-hearted…”

The women’s room may have a tampon/pad dispenser and the men’s would have a Ribbed Condom Of Pleasure dispenser.

Of course, the most annoying thing is that women never leave the seat back up when they are finished … :wink:

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect the real reasons for having them be gender-separate are psychological. People expect there to be a MEN’s room and a WOMEN’s room; that’s what they look for. And I suspect there are at least a few people who are nervous about walking in on, or being walked in on by, a member of the opposite sex if the occupant neglected to lock the door, or if the lock somehow failed.

What countries? I’m always puzzled reading the references to squatting women from the USians, because I’ve never encountered that here. Maybe our women are generally less squeamish and more practical. And while I don’t clean, and therefore can’t compare, toilets here, the women toilets do look clean enough most of the times, unless it’s public or a run-down place with not enough cleaning.

Having lived in several areas of the US & traveled all over it, I think there’s a bunch of regionalism to the OP’s question.

In some areas, the idea of two identical single-occupancy restrooms being sex-specific is totally normal. In other areas, the expectation is that both would be either-sex.

The either-sex approach seems more common in areas with older infrastructure. IOW, it’s common in buildings built in the (WAG) 1940s & before than it is in modern construction. Mostly I think due to those building having fewer & smaller restroom facilities than newer construction.
OTOH, there’s been some social de-genderization in the last 10-15 years. e.g. the idea of a baby-changing table in a men’s bathroom would have been unthinkable in 1965. So when a space is remodeled nowadays it’s plausible they’d go either-sex if square footage was tight.

Having been a park volunteer, I can tell you that generally, yes, the ladies room is messier than the mens- given equal use, etc.