Where in the world are men most likely to sit down to wee?

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
May 16, 2023, 7:45 AM GMT+0

German men are by far the most frequent ‘sitzpinklers’

In February of this year, Guardian journalist Sam Wollaston called YouGov out for our lack of data on how many British men sit down to urinate.

Kicking ourselves for this glaring omission from our Public Data archive, we have since conducted a 13-country study on men’s peeing preferences internationally.

The results show that British men are among the least likely to sit for a wee, with 33% saying they “never” do so – tied with Poland. Only 24% of British and 27% of Polish men say they do so always or most times.

Mexican men are the most likely of the countries surveyed to say the never sit down to wee, at 36%. Just 21% say they do so most or all of the time.

At the other end of the tables, it is German men who are the most likely to sit down to pee – 40% say they do so every time, and a further 22% do so most times. Only 10% say they never do.

Ironically, Germany is a nation that has a term deriding men who sit down to pee – ‘sitzpinkler’, literally someone who sits down to wee, but also used to imply a man is wimpy or effeminate – while also requiring them to do so in many places. Signs telling men to sit down to pee are common in German bathrooms, and standing to urinate is often seen as antisocial behaviour.

In terms of places where men ‘always’ sit down to pee, Australia is the next most enthusiastic adopter, at 25% of men, followed by Sweden at 22%.

In the USA 23% of men always or often sit down to go number 1, compared to 31% who never do. Canadian men are more likely to be frequent sitzpinklers, at 35%, with 21% saying they always stand to pee.

There are also some noticeable generational differences in the results.

Older German men (those aged 55 and above) are particularly likely to always sit down to wee, at 49%, compared to 28% of 18-34 year olds.

In Britain, by contrast, the age difference is reversed, with older British men notably more likely than their younger counterparts to say they never sit down to wee, at 40% vs 23%. The same is true in Australia (38% vs 24%) and the USA (35% vs 21%).

Younger Danish men are also noticeably more likely to say they sit down to urinate “most times” they have to do so than their elders, at 37% vs 21%.