In my work I view the plans of the houses that are soon to be built. I see about a fifth of the new houses built in my city, so I think I've got a pretty good idea of current housing trends. I've noticed, for instance, that almost every new full bath is designed with a little sub-room separating the toilet from the rest of the bathroom.
It's not a style I particularly care for. I find the use of materials for the extra room to be wasteful and unnecessary, and the tiny rooms so created to be claustrophobic and uncomfortable. Besides, I enjoy interacting with my family while one of us is sitting on the can, and when I want privacy, I can always ask for it. My boys aren't shy about that at all. They tell me in no uncertain terms when they want the bathroom to themselves, and for the most part, I find it easy to respect their desires. (I might not find it so easy if they were teenage girls.)
I can't imagine that it isn't even easier in these new houses, which all have two bathrooms, and more often than not, three or more.
It's not that I don't value privacy. Every time I use a public ladies' room, I'm very grateful for the privacy of the stalls – even as I frequently talk with friends on the other side.
The question that does interest me, though, is this: What does it say about our society that we have come to value a standard of privacy from our most intimate family members that is greater than the privacy we expect and ask for from the public at large?