They've got one female and 6 males... [and] the one woman they've got, Mona Chalabi, has as her first topic on her list of 3 topics, toilets. They have the woman doing the toilets!But let's look at that article about toilets, "Toilet Seat Covers: To Use or Not to Use." As the headline indicates, Ms. Chalabi focuses on those paper shields that one sometimes encounters on toilets. The first few words suggest that the reader is presumed to be female: "When your date casually mentions his flossing routine...." Chalabi signals her cleanliness which extends even to the males she dates. They are the type whose small talk assures the female that they attend to the finer aspects of hygiene.
Anyway, as noted, the topic is toilet seat covers, and Chalabi — following the FiveThirtyEight approach to journalism — mines a paper published in Pediatrics for statistics that relate to why one might not want to sit directly on a toilet seat. There are 8 paragraphs of that, and then one last paragraph:
You can decide for yourself whether the covers are a low-cost way to minimize risk or an expensive waste of paper. But there is one other piece of research that might be relevant, especially if you’re a man. Between 2002 and 2010, doctors documented 8,959 incidents of “penile crush injury related to a toilet seat” in U.S. emergency rooms. We’re not sure how those happened — for example, whether most occurred sitting or standing — but we thought you should factor it into your decision about the seat covers.Ha ha. That sounds like it's meant to be funny. It's only a penis, and what are these men, so inept that they can't deal with the up-and-down of a toilet seat? We’re not sure how those happened...
If you go to the summary of the study, at Chalabi's link, you'll easily picture how it happened, and it's not cute or funny at all. There were 13,175 genitourinary injuries related to toilet seats in the U.S. in the years 2002–2010.
The most common mechanism involved crush from accidental fall of toilet seat, described in 9011 (68.4%, 95% CI 6907–11 115) cases.The journal, remember, is Pediatrics. These are very little boys just learning to pee at the toilet, with their penis in a vulnerable spot, after they've swung the seat into an incompletely upright position. Once you visualize the problem, the design defect of the toilet seat is actually quite shocking. And yet here is Chalabi — supposedly into statistical revelations — transforming this information into something like a joking parting shot for the article. The reader is prompted to laugh at a grown man — perhaps a bad "date" — who can't even protect his own penis when he opts to pee standing up.
Most crush injuries were isolated to the penis (98.1%). Of crush injuries, 81.7% occurred in children aged 2–3 years and 99.3% occurred in the home. Crush injuries increased over the period 2002–2010 (P = 0.017) by ≈100 per year, ending with an estimated 1707 (95% CI 1011–2402) by 2010.
Thanks to Meade for reading the toilet article (which I had referred to in yesterday's post without reading). His comment on yesterday's post was:
[W]ho knew so many American males (1000+ per year) suffer the injury of penile crush caused, apparently, by plumbing design catering to womens' gender specific demands to have the toilet seat DOWN?