NCBI ROFL: And the April "No sh*t, Sherlock" award goes to…

By ncbi rofl | April 22, 2010 7:00 pm

restroom-in-china Do women spend more time in the restroom than men?

“The stereotype that women spend more time in the restroom than men was examined, with the expectation of a small magnitude difference. Method.—Men and women (N = 120, 60 each sex) were observed entering and exiting the restroom in a college library. Participants were of various ages and ethnicities. Data were collected during 4 days in 2 wk. for 1 or 2 hours at different times in the afternoon, evening, and night. The number of stalls, urinals, and sinks and proximity to convenient and discrete observation posts were similar. Time spent in the restroom was measured in seconds using the online U.S. government clock ( set to Eastern Standard Time at a library computer terminal. For purposes of interrater reliability, two observers timed each participant and retained the data only if the observers agreed within a margin of 2.0 sec.

Results and discussion.—An independent samples t test indicated that women (M = 178.9 sec., SD = 96.6) spent significantly more time in the restroom than did men (M = 118.4 sec., SD = 102.6; t118 = –3.33, p = .001; d = .34). The average difference was 61.5 sec. Johnson, Sholcosky, Gabello, Ragni, and Ogonosky (2003) found that women were nearly twice as likely as men to wash their hands after using a public restroom. This act of routine hygiene by itself could substantially account for the additional time women spent in the restroom in our study. Participants were not observed while inside the restroom and results are based on students in a university library. The results support the belief that small, real gender differences have been exaggerated in common lore.”



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CATEGORIZED UNDER: analysis taken too far, duh, NCBI ROFL
  • kdub

    If they were not observed inside the restroom, how do they know that more women washed their hands?


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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