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Old 26th August 2015, 10:41 AM
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Attitudes About Public Restrooms

Some of you know that I am located in the Greater Houston area. The city itself is currently in a battle over HERO, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. This local anti-discrimination law was passed last year but was followed by a petition drive seeking to overturn it. The ensuing court fight has placed it on the ballot this fall.

That's tangential to what I'm writing about here. There's a piece in the Chronicle which cites a psychologist's study of attitudes toward public restrooms and how they may correlate to political views.

Since CRUISING for SEX and the Sex Listings does have a lot of content about public restrooms, I thought it would be interesting to share that part of the story here:

Quote:
A personal question today: How do you feel about public restrooms?

Do you see them as useful facilities whose benefits far outweigh the occasional untidiness?

Or, are you so disgusted by public restrooms that you avoid them at all costs, entering only in the case of an emergency, and then, only with pinched nose and value-sized pump of anti-bacterial lotion?

Your answer may reveal something about your politics, according to Jonathan Haidt, a moral psychologist at New York University's Stern School of Business. The more grossed out you are by public restrooms, the more conservative you are likely to be - and vice versa.

This is why bathrooms are the perfect tool for social conservatives trying to defeat Houston's equal rights ordinance. By the looks of the group's website, it might be the only tool.
The rest of the article is more specific about the current HERO battle in Houston. For what it's worth, before writing off the city as another example of right-wing Texas looney-tunes, remember that Houston has a quite large gay community and a lesbian mayor. It has or has had several other openly gay or lesbian officials. Versions of the anti-discrimination ordinance were adopted as early as the 1980s but typically overturned in scare-tactic referenda. It's a somewhat odd evolution that the opposition has moved from being broadly anti-gay to being specifically anti-transgender with the spurious "sexual predator" argument. Perhaps that's a reflection of the times.

In any case, I wonder to what degree the study relates in some aspect to the sense of "danger" some people feel as well as more general "anti-sex" attitudes or at least the demand to conform to traditional sexual norms. You could extrapolate that to the periodic sweeps by undercover cops of restrooms, parks, and other public cruising areas.

Food for thought. Now on to other work...
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Old 8th September 2015, 09:06 AM
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I think pretty much everyone would be grossed-out by a poorly maintained, or downright filthy restroom -- public or otherwise. As for using one's opinion of public restrooms as a barometer of political bent, that is really, really pushing it. I am certainly anti-gross-out, and I do hold my nose and avoid making contact with surfaces in a restroom I consider not maintained to my standards. However, I am an exceedingly outspoken liberal. And, I have engaged in hanky panky in men's rooms since I was in college.
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Old 23rd September 2015, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CapitalUncut View Post
I think pretty much everyone would be grossed-out by a poorly maintained, or downright filthy restroom -- public or otherwise. As for using one's opinion of public restrooms as a barometer of political bent, that is really, really pushing it. I am certainly anti-gross-out, and I do hold my nose and avoid making contact with surfaces in a restroom I consider not maintained to my standards. However, I am an exceedingly outspoken liberal. And, I have engaged in hanky panky in men's rooms since I was in college.
Having decent public restrooms is a basic prerequisite for keeping the cities clean, too. If a dude has got to go, he will go. Offer him a decent public facility, and he won't be going around pissing against the walls of your house, hiding in the bushes, etc.

Sure thing, gay or maybe not so openly gay men will be using the public restrooms to hook up with the like-minded guys. That's how it is. Like it or not, this ain't really going to change. Every grown up male knows this.

No doubt, some guys tend to get unduly worked up over this. Gay or not, no one is under any obligation to hook up with anyone anywhere, let alone with a dude working on his rod in a public restroom. Why would this bother anyone is simply inexplicable.

KD
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