everyone poops01

It’s a fact of life: everyone poops. And yet society seems to have evolved some sense of embarrassment over letting people know that you’ve dropped a stinky load. We try to assuage these issues with things like private bathroom stalls and air fresheners in public restrooms. In fact, toilets in Japan will often have automatic noise makers to mask any embarrassing sounds that might slip past your posterior.

And yet still, a recent study shows that more than half of Japanese school children refuse to go number two until after they’ve returned to the perfect privacy of their own homes! They’ll hold it for hours rather than respond to nature’s call, their embarrassment about bodily functions eventually causing them to become chronically constipated.

The United Nations General Assembly recognizes November 19 was World Toilet Day. So what better time than right now to talk about people’s pooping habits? Recently, the Japanese home installments corporation, LIXIL, asked 1,250 boys and girls about toilet issues. The kids were all attendees at a Japanese elementary, junior high, or high school, and they had some truly eye-opening things to say about school bathrooms.

First and foremost, according to LIXIL’s survey, a total 53 percent of Japanese school children either “never poop in the school bathrooms,” or “only do so when absolutely incapable of persevering.” The next question is obviously “why refrain?”

Exactly half of the students who do not defecate while at school say that it’s because “[they] do not want other people to know.” In other words, they choose to hold back their bowel movements because they are embarrassed by their body’s natural functions. It’s not that these kids are somehow incapable of letting loose, but that they consciously choose not to. Apparently, more than 70 percent of all Japanese students tend to go to the bathroom in a group, so if anyone takes extra time in a stall, it’s obvious to their friends exactly what was going down. Not to mention, elementary school pranksters have a pretty nasty habit of peeking over the stall doors and announcing the identity of the occupant to the room at large. If any of these students feel embarrassed about holding up the line or causing a bit of a stink, it makes sense that they would try to avoid the situation.

▼Could it just be that some kids don’t know how to tackle these things!?


The second most common reason for holding in the terrible turds until back at home was because they are “unable to relax.” An impressive 46 percent of kids who don’t defecate at school basically said that their sphincter is too tight to allow it. Whether it’s some form of performance anxiety when their friends are loitering on the other side of the door, or whether it’s a problem with the toilets themselves is a little unclear. However, we do know that 60 percent of all Japanese students prefer using Western-style toilets, while a large number of school buildings are fitted with nothing but squatty potties. That sounds like a likely factor in these kids’ inability to go.

So what are the ramifications of refusing to do one’s doody when nature calls? Well, a quick Google search tells us that kids who hold it in for hours on end can cause themselves serious constipation, until they’re practically pooping pebbles. Generally speaking, the consequences aren’t too severe, but can lead to pronounced discomfort when their loaves are finally pinched. Unfortunately, this problem isn’t exactly something that’s easy to solve. But, I’m sure LIXIL will be happy to incorporate this data when designing future bathroom fixtures.

Source: tv asahi (Japanese)
Top image: Rakuten Inset image: Kcpwindowonjapan