Are you bothered by other people's toilet noises? graph of japanese statisticsIf you’ve ever read any guide books to Japan you’ll no doubt have heard of the “Oto Hime”, Sound Princess, a device in toilets that plays a tune while you do the business. To find out how people use them, iShare conducted a survey into toilet noises.

Demographics

Betwen the 16th and 21st of April 2009 395 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private mobile phone internet-based questionnaire. 52.7% of the sample were male, 35.7% in their twenties, 29.1% in their thirties, and 35.2% in their forties.

I once did visit a unisex toilet that had an Oto Hime device, but I was too embarassed to press the button.

I didn’t translate the extra question, but they did ask if people tried to save water and other resources, but even those who did flushed the toilet almost as often as those who didn’t. However, a more interesting comparison might have been to whether people are constipated – if you’re straining on the pan for five minutes other people are going to be more of a concern than if you’re in and out in twenty seconds.

I only get bothered when there’s someone with a bad case of the runs splattering away.

If you enjoyed the topic of this survey, you may also enjoy when iShare looked at bum-washing toilets and at public toilets.

Research results

Q1: Do you think that it’s embarassing that others can hear your toilet noises? (Sample size=395)

  All Male
N=208
Female
N=187
Yes, embarassing 32.9% 25.0% 41.7%
Yes, a little embarassing 46.1% 44.7% 47.6%
No, not embarassing 21.0% 30.3% 10.7%

Q2: Do you think that it’s embarassing when only other family members can hear your toilet noises? (Sample size=395)

  All Male
N=208
Female
N=187
Yes, embarassing 16.7% 15.4% 18.2%
Yes, a little embarassing 34.4% 27.9% 41.7%
No, not embarassing 48.9% 56.7% 40.1%

Just about half of the people embarassed by the general public hearing their plops and splashes were also embarassed by their family hearing them.

Q3: Are you bothered by other people’s toilet noises? (Sample size=395)

  All Male
N=208
Female
N=187
Yes 21.8% 21.6% 21.9%
Yes, a little 48.6% 45.2% 52.4%
No 29.6% 33.2% 25.7%

Q4: Have you ever used a toilet with a sound masking device? (Sample size=395)

  All Male
N=208
Female
N=187
Yes (to SQ1) 59.2% 29.8% 92.0%
No 40.8% 70.2% 8.0%

Q4SQ1: Have you ever used a sound masking device in a toilet? (Sample size=234)

  All Male
N=62
Female
N=172
Yes (to SQ2, SQ3) 80.8% 48.4% 92.4%
No 19.2% 51.6% 7.6%

Putting the two together we get:

Q4+Q4SQ1: Have you ever used a toilet with a sound masking device? (Sample size=395)

  All Male
N=208
Female
N=187
Yes, and used the device 47.8% 14.4% 85.0%
Yes, but not used the device 11.4% 15.4% 7.0%
No 40.8% 70.2% 8.0%

Q4SQ2: Why did you use a sound masking device in a toilet? (Sample size=189, multiple answer)

  All Male
N=30
Female
N=159
Good manners for the benefit of those around me 62.4% 70.0% 61.0%
Sounds are embarassing 58.7% 36.7% 62.9%
To save water 52.4% 26.7% 57.2%

Q4SQ3: If there has been no sound masking device in a toilet, have you repeatedly flushed the toilet instead to mask the sounds? (Sample size=189)

  All Male
N=30
Female
N=159
Yes 82.5% 60.0% 86.8%
No 17.5% 40.0% 13.2%

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