Over 60-percent gap between most and least accepting demographics.

Japanese Internet portal Sirabee regularly polls its users on a variety of topics, and one of its most recent was about toilets. Specifically, the poll’s organizers wanted to know how people feel about unisex restrooms.

In total, 1,798 responses were collected from men and women ranging in age from 10 to 69, and a slim majority of the respondents, 52.1 percent, are OK with the idea of unisex bathrooms. That leaves 47.9 percent that said they don’t want to use them, but the rate of resistance was far higher in certain demographics.

Overall, men were much more open to the concept, with less than 30 percent opposed in all age groups, and that number even starting to dip a little for more advanced ages.

Percentage of men who don’t want to use a unisex restroom
● Age 10-19: 16.8 percent
● Age 20-29: 21.2 percent
● Age 30-39: 24 percent
● Age 40-49: 28.7 percent
● Age 50-59; 28.5 percent
● Age 60-69: 27.6 percent

However, among women unisex bathrooms were seen as far less acceptable, with the majority of female respondents in all age groups saying they wouldn’t want to use one, and the idea especially repulsive to older ladies.

Percentage of women who don’t want to use a unisex restroom
● Age 10-19: 59.1 percent
● Age 20-29: 59.4 percent
● Age 30-39: 67.7 percent
● Age 40-49: 66.2 percent
● Age 50-59; 76.8 percent
● Age 60-69: 77.1 percent

While some might be quick to call this an example of less-than-progressive attitudes about gender identity in modern Japan, it’s worth bearing in mind that unisex public bathrooms have existed in the country for decades. However, most unisex restrooms in Japan owe their existence not to LGBT issues, but to space limits. Restaurants in Japan, especially inexpensive eateries and pubs, often try to cram as many tables as they can into a small interior, and instead of separate men’s and women’s bathrooms, simply have a few one-person unisex restrooms that can be accessed directly from an interior walkway, which can be used by any patron as long as they’re unoccupied.

In such cases, using a unisex bathroom doesn’t mean having to simultaneously share the use of a semi-secluded space with people of the opposite physical sex so much as possibly having to use the same stall right after such a person. Taking that into account, perhaps it’s not so surprising that such a large number of Japanese women aren’t too keen on using a unisex restroom, considering guys’ reputation for not being the most accurate with their aim when making liquid deposits (although perhaps if they knew how many Japanese men apparently like to sit down when taking a pee, they’d feel a little better).

Source: Sirabee via Niconico News via Jin
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