Taiwanese minister wants men to sit down to urinate

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

Is it an unnecessary form of emasculation or a reasonable expectation of men in the modern age? The minister of Taiwan's Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has said that men should sit down when urinating.

The BBC reports that Stephen Shen has stirred debate online by suggesting the change in bathroom habits would lean to a cleaner environment. Shen has instructed local governments to put up notices in public restrooms "advising" men to sit when using the toilet.

"We want to learn from Japan and Sweden," Yuan Shaw-jing, EPA director general of environmental sanitation and toxic substance maintenance, told the BBC. "In Japan, we heard 30 percent of the men sit."

In June, Sweden's Left Party put forward a motion requiring men to sit down when using the toilet. Along with improved public hygienic standards, the Left Party cited research that it claims shows men "empty their bladders more effectively" when sitting down.

Taiwan's EPA said it has no authority to force men to change their bathroom habits and is simply putting up the notices as a suggestion to help improve the sanitary standards of the nation's estimated 100,000 public toilets.

And lest someone accuse him of hypocritical behavior, Shen told the BBC he practices what he preaches, both at home and when using public restrooms.