The Sociology Of Public Peeing

Axes_of_public_peeing_inverted-575x524

Laura Norén dives into the sociology:

Urination is a biological function that has been subjected to a great degree of social control. Unfortunately, urban design has not kept pace with the demand for clean, easily accessible public restrooms for humans. And there has been no attempt to create any kind of system to deal with canine urine. In most cities it is illegal for humans to pee in public but both legal and widely accepted for dogs to pee where ever they like (in New York, they cannot pee on the grass in parks). ...

One of the odd side effects of the introduction of the new TSA pat down procedures is that it revealed just how many people struggle with incontinence, either needing to urinate frequently or needing to wear diapers (or both). I was aware of those issues before the TSA started sticking their hands in private places, but I wasn’t sure how to simultaneously think about adult diapers, dogs peeing on the street, and taxi/truck drivers peeing in jugs while still in their cabs. Where social control is very strong – as it is in the case of urination – it can almost trump biological needs, especially if the biological needs offer a level of control.

(Hat tip: Flowing Data)

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Inside a family's fight to use marijuana oils to treat epilepsy

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Just In