Pinehurst, North Carolina – Gender-neutral restrooms and a study of the public’s acceptance of them will be the subject of a TEDxEvansStreet talk to be given in Florence, SC, next month.
Michael Barbera, an award-winning consumer psychologist and strategy consultant for Fortune 50 companies, has been asked to present his thoughts in a talk titled, “Potty parity and the perception of shared restrooms,” on Sept. 21.
Barbera stumbled onto this topic when he saw two restrooms, one designate “female” and the other, combined “male” and “gender neutral.”
After researching the subject for behavioral insights regarding shared restrooms, Barbera found none, and decided to design research to test comfort levels, feelings and perception about inclusivity regarding the restroom placard framing.
The effects of gender-neutral bathrooms are perceived differently by gender, the positioning of the designated gender-neutral restroom and the manner in which the message is framed.
A growing number of organizations designed one restroom to be gender-neutral and the other gender-specific. Additionally, a growing number of organizations designed one restroom to be gender-neutral and the other to gender-specific and gender-neutral, thus ignoring the inclusivity and exclusivity of approximately half of the population.
Barbera’s research tries to understand human perception regarding gender neutral, and joint gender-specific/gender-neutral restrooms.
The research suggests an alternate restroom placard design based upon the perceptions of the participants. It also suggests acceptance by encouraging public restroom operators, business operators and policy makers to change the default restroom placard design to a design that is accepted by the majority of users and consumers.
“The results of the research are interesting and provocative. It’s an honor to be invited to share insights on the perception and comfort levels of shared restrooms with the TED audience,” Barbera said.
Several studies are underway to test the comfort and inclusivity of non-traditional bathroom placards within the LGBTQ community. Barbera Solutions will soon release the results of the subsequent studies.
About Michael Barbera
Michael Barbera is an award-winning consumer psychologist and strategy consultant for Fortune 50 companies. He is a business psychologist who is involved in both practical and academic endeavors. His areas of practice are consumer behavior, consumer emotions, social psychology, decision-making, brand management, marketing, and long-term business strategies. Michael is currently employed as the CEO of Barbera Solutions. His clients can be found on the Fortune 50 list, ABC’s Shark Tank and Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing. In 2015, the White House recognized Michael for his contributions to entrepreneurship. This work includes development and validation of consumer emotions, consumer behavior, product placement, consumer interaction and business growth strategies.