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University of Michigan Law School

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

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2007

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Sex-Separation In Public Restrooms: Law, Architecture, And Gender, Terry S. Kogan Jan 2007

Sex-Separation In Public Restrooms: Law, Architecture, And Gender, Terry S. Kogan

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article challenges the common assumption that legally mandated sex-separation of public restrooms is a benign recognition of natural anatomical differences between men and women. Relying on legal history, gender history, and architectural theory, my central thesis is that, contrary to common intuitions, there was nothing benign or gender neutral about the social and historical origins of the first laws adopted at the end of the nineteenth century that mandated such separation.