This scientific study claims to have finally settled the 'toilet seat up or down' debate

This scientific study claims to have finally settled the 'toilet seat up or down' debate

One of the biggest arguments which still plagues society to this day, particularly between men and women, is this: should the toilet seat stay up or down? It's one of those things which many people constantly complain about, while other folks don't see what the big deal is. One side says that it's more courteous for men to put the seat down after they've finished peeing, since it means that women won't fall into the toilet by accident when they go to sit down.

On the other hand, many men feel like they should have to be shamed for leaving the toilet seat up, and that anyone who is so unobservant as to fall into a toilet bowl probably deserves all they get. The debate has raged on and on, back and forth, seemingly for as long as flushing toilets have existed. It's gotten so bad that a team of scientists have actually investigated the issue, and claim to have put the issue to bed at long last. Not only that, but they can also show their working.

An image of a toilet. Credit: Getty

A study, which has been published in the journal Science Creative Quarterly, is entitled: "Up or Down? An Efficiency-Based Argument for Optimal Toilet Seat Placement." Researchers used a mathematical modelling approach, which considered what would be the most efficient placement in a household where there were more than one man and more than one women living in it.

They established three important axioms to consider when discussing toilet seat placement. Firstly, women always use the toilet with the seat down, secondly that men (typically) urinate with the seat up, and defecate with the seat down, and lastly that the average person defecates once a day and urinates seven times every day. The researchers then used this data to calculate the best toilet seat ratio (TSR), based on the number of males relative to the number of females.

The researchers eventually concluded, based on their workings, that when there is only one man and one woman living together then the optimal placement for the seat is down, and so men should lower the toilet seat accordingly if they only share their water closet with one other women.

An image of a toilet. Credit: Getty

However, the researchers went on to state: "If the number of females is greater than or equal to the number of males the optimal placement of the toilet seat is down. Additionally, when males outnumber females, the optimal toilet seat placement is not always up: when there are four males in a household, the optimal toilet seat placement is only definitively up when there are two or fewer females; and when there are five males in a household, the optimal toilet seat placement is only definitively up when there are three or fewer females."

They added: "There is no longer any need for males and females to argue over the placement of their toilet seat as long as they are concerned with the efficient expenditure of household energy." That's good, but somehow I still don't think that it'll stop people from squabbling, do you?