Intro & Methods
Results, Part 1: People Taking Cover
Results, Part 2: The Women (and Men) Who Hover
Discussion & Acknowledgments
Supplemental Data: Selected Excerpts from Focus Group Discussion

“Alright fine. I should’ve just listened to you when you refused to make the serum. I’m willing to accept my part of the blame for this, Rick. But I’ll tell you something, you know what?! You gotta accept your part of the blame. I’m not the one who fouled up the serum. I’m not the one who…who haphazardly, you know, mixed a bunch of nonsense together and created a bunch of Cronenbergs!”
—Rick Smith, Rick and Morty


Hovering: An Acrobatic Approach Dominated by Women

While the debate over seat cover orientation continues to unfold (get it?), another titillating narrative regarding the practice of hovering was being elevated (uh oh, train can’t be stopped now) by our survey results. This moderate alternative between the completely rational approach of just-sitting-on-the-damn-seat and the extreme wastefulness of using paper seat covers requires restroom goers to perform and hold a semi-squat so that they are positioned just above the toilet bowl without actually contacting any inch of porcelain. Admittedly, prior to this study, I had limited knowledge of this neo-modernist approach that seems to require an inordinate amount of quad strength. And clearly, the male-only focus group that I had conducted at the very entrance of this deep rabbit hole had left me in utter darkness regarding a vibrant world of seat-avoidance strategy.

Our survey data suggests that my ignorance has company. Of 248 survey participants, 10.1% had never heard of hovering (Fig. 6). Breaking down these results by gender, 18 of 75 male respondents (24%) had never heard of hovering while only 7 of 173 female respondents (4%) were unaware of this practice. Despite many being oblivious to the more gymnastic possibilities of utilizing a restroom, 52.8% of all respondents report hovering at least some of the time (Fig. 7). Again there was a sharp difference between genders, as 67.1% of female respondents report hovering at least sometimes while only 20% of male respondents report the same.

Figure 6

Figure 6. Blue Pac(wo)man Eats a Red Slice of Ignorance

Figure 7

Figure 7. The Human Hover Craft

Of the survey respondents who indicated their strength of preference for hovering, 46.8% report a moderate to strong preference for this high-stakes balancing act (Fig. 8). A thigh-burning 20.2% of female respondents (35 of 173) indicate a strong preference, hovering almost all of the time in public restrooms, while only 2.7% of male respondents (2 of 75) report a similar dedication to such calisthenics.

Similar to the dutiful deployment of toilet seat covers, the artistry of hovering appears to be instilled at an early age. Of the hover-people who provided data regarding their initiation, 40.6% started hovering by the age of 12. This becomes 89.6% by age 22 (see results summary-Q11). Some of the top reasons indicated for beginning to hover are similar to those provided for beginning to cover (see results summary-Q12). These include having an aversion to contacting a seat with bare skin (31.1%) and being instructed to do so by a family member (30.3%). However, an intriguing 16.7% of responses to this question indicate a friend, colleague, or acquaintance influenced their decision to start hovering. This is in contrast to the 4.1% of seat cover utilizers who indicate a friend, colleague, or acquaintance were somehow involved, suggesting a unique role of evangelism among friends within the hovering community.

Figure 8

Figure 8. 141 people can skip their leg workout

When asked why one chooses to hover or not, 96 of the 131 respondents (73.3%) who report hovering at least some of the time indicate that they do so to maintain general cleanliness while using the restroom (see results summary-Q13). Of those who report hovering only some of the time or never at all, 108 out of 200 (54%) indicate that it is uncomfortable, tiresome, and/or awkward. 17.3% of all respondents indicate they hover to avoid contracting a transmissible disease while 24.6% of all respondents feel hovering is inconsiderate and messy. Of note, 15 respondents (6%) report desiring to hover, but being unable to acquire the necessary level of proficiency to execute this isometric approach.

Finally, 64 respondents (25.8%) report neither covering nor hovering. It is safe to assume these are the wokest of the woke.


NEXT SECTION: Discussion & Acknowledgments

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