I haven’t spent much time in the women’s room at airports or restaurants (which is probably one way I’ve avoided going to jail! 🙂 but I have to say that it’s pretty gross how infrequently men wash their hands after going to the bathroom.
I’m not just talking about one guy every so often finishing up and walking out without a quick rinse, I’ve observed that at least half the men I see after they’ve gone to the bathroom just zip up and leave.
Do women do this as frequently?
What’s amazing is that they’ve actually done research on this very issue and that Science Daily reported that 66% of men wash their hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom, but y’know what? I don’t believe it!
The research claims that 88% of women wash their hands, which means that approximately one in ten women don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom, but that’s still better than the research-implied one third of men who don’t wash their hands.
There are nuances too, in my experience. Lots of guys seem to put their hands under the tap for a second, get them wet, wipe them on their pants or use a towel, then walk out. No soap, no “cleaning”, and dead useless from a personal hygiene perspective.
I realize this is a kinda weird topic, but as I’ve been traveling through airports and staying in hotels in the last week or so, it’s really brought home how rare it is for a man to go to the bathroom then wash their hands with soap and water at all, let along for longer than a few seconds.
Oh, and hand washing is trending downward too. The overall hand-washing rate in 2007 was 77 percent, compared with 83 percent in 2005, according to the Dept. of Health and Human Services.
Don’t think this is a big deal? Dr. Judy Daly, Director of the Microbiology Laboratories at the Primary Children’s Medical Center, Salt Lake City., says “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the single most important thing we can all do to keep from getting infectious diseases and spreading them to others is to clean our hands.”
Or how about the prestigious Mayo Clinic? They say, in an article about the importance of hand washing, that you need only wash vigorously for 15-20 seconds to get the benefit of clean hands. A further interesting tidbit that Linda’s been telling me for years: “Antibacterial soaps have become increasingly popular in recent years. However, these soaps are no more effective at killing germs than is regular soap. Using antibacterial soaps may lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to the products’ antimicrobial agents — making it even harder to kill these germs in the future.”
Maybe we’re clean freaks in our family, but we’ve really tried to instill in our kids the idea of washing your hands with soap before meals too, and I find myself washing my hands before eating even when I’m at business lunches or dining solo.
Come clean, dear reader. Do you wash your hands with soap 100% of the time after you go to the bathroom? Most of the time? Rarely? At all?