In the article “School toilets: queer, disabled bodies and gendered lessons of embodiment,” the authors explore issues of school toilets; they reveal the impact of toilet sharing between children from different social groups. The overall argument of the authors is that there are cultural fears associated with common toilets in different social groups. At the same time, the authors apply specific statements that toilets function as socio-cultural spaces in terms of gender, embodiment, exclusion, and belonging. Proof for this can be found in the fact that surveys show that washrooms are the beginning of the problems that these people face in their later lives (Slater, Jones, and Procter, 2016, p.11). They also consider the issue as access to shared toilets and allows people to be more socially adapted. To support this argument, the writers recall that society has developed rules for sharing restrooms over the years (Slater, Jones, and Procter, 2016, p.7). Moreover, the authors investigate what an accessible and comfortable toilet should seem like for selected groups. They provide an example of gender-neutral bathrooms and their accessibility to everyone (Slater, Jones, and Procter, 2016, p.12).
It is significant to note that the article used workshop methods (where video interviews were conducted), and a sample of 16 participants with different problems and from various social groups was created. The benefit of this way is that the participants were interested in the form of research and were motivated to continue. A limitation of these methods for this study is that since seminars rather than face-to-face interviews were used to collect data, speakers could not consistently be identified on the audio recordings (Slater, Jones, and Procter, 2016). It seems that for the authenticity of the facts, an anonymous survey could have been administered to alumni and students to provide their impressions of shared access to the restroom. It should be noted that the arguments and questions are supported by the narratives of a selected sample of participants. In this way, the authors analyze participants’ answers about their own experiences, exposing the arguments presented. However, the authors also examine the participants’ responses using alternative thinking and additional literature. This helps explain the behavior of others sharing toilets with the selected groups.
A limitation of the research is that it is not to a large extent about school toilets specifically, and people share their experiences of using common toilets. At the same time, the study sample does not include the other part of people without obvious sociological or physical problems. It is also significant to mention that not a complete geographical representation is presented, as most of the participants lived in the North of England. Further comments include the fact that the writers only collect stories of people who share their experiences of using shared restrooms but do not make recommendations on reducing the negative consequences. Thus, the study could have made more recommendations to minimize the situation of alienation and lack of understanding of select groups. Although the article’s authors point out that school toilets should become accessible and comfortable for all. However, the research writers conclude that more study is required to thoroughly and critically examine this topic.
Slater, J., Jones, C., and Procter, L. (2016). “School toilets: queer, disabled bodies and gendered lessons of embodiment”, Gender and Education, 30(8), pp. 951-965.