Monday, 30 May 2011

Toilet Seat Etiquette: Up or Down?

A question as old as time. Well, perhaps only as old as toilet seats. But for anyone who's lived with someone of the opposite gender, the up-ness or down-ing on the seat can become an issue of epic importance. So much so that Jay Pil Choi, A Proffessor of Economics at Michigan State University wrote a paper discussing this very subject in 2002, let's take a look at his abstract...

"This paper develops an economic analysis of the toilet seat etiquette, that is, whether
the toilet seat should be left up or down. I investigate whether there is any efficiency
justification for the presumption that men should leave the toilet seat down after use. I find
that the “down rule” is inefficient unless there is a large degree of asymmetry in the
inconvenience costs of shifting the position of the toilet seat across genders. I show that the
“selfish” or the “status quo” rule that leaves the toilet seat in the position used dominates the
down rule in a wide range of parameter spaces including the case where the inconvenience
costs are the same. The analysis can be applied to other shared facilities that can be
customized to each user’s preference."

If you're a too long didn't read kind of person, the answer is that - unless the women in a household significantly outnumber the men, it's better to leave the seat as used in terms of time and effort for both parties.

Now, Choi goes into a lot of detail about this throwing about some very complex looking math to prove his point. The paper is very funny, and worth a read and you can check it out at

So, in the interests of engendering discussion here, what do you do? Up or down?


Poetry of the Day said...

i think its cool either way
William Shakespear | Poetry

Skinny Guy said...

If it is just one guy and one girl it should be left for the opposite sex after use ha ha.

charlie tuna said...

up. always up.

Berry said...

As long as i don't have to sit on it, i don't mind if its up.

Skaerf said...

Who cares? As long as you dont leave skids inside the toilet bowl :P

Blupsy said...

Hey, I think you'll remember me, I used to run a World of Warcraft guide-ish blog.
I deleted that blog and made a new,improved one! Go check it out, theres a little bit of old content on there at the moment, more will come soon I promise ;)
I figured I'd let you know.

DougieB-KO-2-U said...

There is a new product out there that makes it sooo easy for guys to put the seat down and gravity does all the work:

They're stick-on cushions that absorb the impact and eliminate the noise. All guys have to do is tip the seat and let it drop. There's no need to bend over to put the seat down anymore.