A Few Reasons To Consider Unisex Restrooms
Unisex restrooms hold advantages over gender divided restrooms in certain situations.
The first and most obvious advantage is that having classical gender divided restrooms requires a minimum of two restrooms. If you are in a situation where you can only afford one small restroom building, then unisex is the only option.
The second advantage is that in the event that you have multiple single person restrooms, two people of the same gender can go at the same time. So for example, if you had a two restroom setup on a golf course and two men were golfing together, if you had a pair of unisex restrooms they could go at the same time instead of having to wait on each other. This would not be possible (or at least, would be frowned upon) if the restrooms were gender divided.
On that same note, if two men visit the restrooms together and one decides to use the single occupancy women’s room, there won’t be a urinal available to him which means there is a chance the next visitor to the women’s room could be sitting on a urinated toilet seat. Unisex restrooms generally include urinals.
The third advantage is that having a number of unisex restrooms helps create “potty parity.” Women go to the bathroom more often than men and stay longer. Traditionally, there are equal numbers of male restrooms to female, even though female restrooms are used more and are more in demand. Making each individual restroom unisex allows more women to use the restroom, and cuts down on the wait time while causing minimal inconvenience to men.
The fourth advantage is that it is possible that someday having at least one unisex restroom could become a state or federal requirement in the U.S. The State of California recently passed landmark legislation that allowed transgender kids to choose their own restroom in public schools, and additional legislation has been discussed to require all places of business to require at least one unisex restroom to accommodate the estimated 1.5 million transgender people living in the United States. In Washington DC, the “safe bathrooms” law requires all single-occupancy restrooms to be unisex.
A fifth advantage is that going unisex spares opposite sex pairings from making difficult decisions. For example, does a mother with a five year old son accompany him to the men’s or women’s side? An elderly man has a female caretaker, choosing which side to use would be difficult for them.
If you are considering single-occupancy restrooms, it would probably be a good idea to go the unisex route. There are numerous advantages and perhaps even a few headaches saved by doing so.