Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 3-2-2017


The sex-segregated public restroom, first man- dated by laws in the late nineteenth century, has be- come a pervasive architectural feature of contemporary America that is unlikely to disappear any time soon. Title IX and its implementing regulations recognize, and do not seek to alter, this arrangement. Understanding the origins of this social convention in the United States, however, illustrates that separating such facilities by sex was not simply a natural, neutral response to anatomical differences, but rather an ideological cultural response that reflected and reinforced the prevailing gender norms of the time.