Men Less Likely to Wear Masks Because They Think It's 'Not Cool,' Study Finds

May 15, 2020

A new study finds that men are less likely to wear face masks in public than women because they think it's a sign of weakness.

"Men more than women agree that wearing a face covering is shameful, not cool, a sign of weakness, and a stigma," write study co-authors Valerio Capraro and Hélène Barcelo. "These gender differences also mediate gender differences intentions to wear a face covering."

The researchers of the study — which was conducted by researchers from Middlesex University London in the UK and the Mathematical Science Research Institute in Berkeley, California — also found that men are also more likely to believe that COVID-19 won't seriously impact their health, despite data showing that more men are dying from the disease than women.

The co-authors believe "women are generally less willing to take risks, and are thus more compliant with preventive behavior than their male counterparts."

The new findings corroborate data from an April survey, which found that 29 percent of men say they'd “always” worn a face covering outside their homes in the past seven days, compared to 44 percent of women.

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