The research of Professor Terry Kogan and his contributions to the book, Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing, were cited by multiple media sources covering recent transgender bathroom laws.
Many states follow the guidelines laid out in the Uniform Plumbing Code, which stipulates that “separate toilet facilities shall be provided for each sex,” with exceptions for very small businesses as measured in square footage and/or customer traffic. In the eyes of the law in these places, a business with two unisex toilets can be considered to have no toilets at all, since neither facility explicitly serves men or women.
Such laws date back to 1887, according to Terry S. Kogan, a University of Utah law professor and a contributor to the book Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing. One hundred and twenty-seven years ago, Massachusetts passed the first law mandating gender-segregated toilets, and many states quickly followed suit. Many of those laws have never been substantially modified, with obvious exceptions in progressive enclaves like D.C. and San Francisco, meaning that much of the United States’ toilet-related building codes reflect a literally Victorian prudishness that we might mock in other contexts.