News & Opinion | October 21, 2020 6:30 am

Women Take COVID-19 Precautions More Seriously Than Men, According to Study

Men tend to be less diligent about COVID-19 safety measures

woman at work wearing mask
Congrats to this woman, who probably takes COVID-19 precautions more seriously than the men in her life.
Getty Images

Early on the pandemic, it was reported that men were less likely than women to wear face masks, apparently finding them a sign of weakness or some such gendered nonsense. Unfortunately, it seems men’s aversion to COVID-19 precautions doesn’t end with face coverings. According to a new study, women take the COVID-19 pandemic more seriously and are more likely than men to abide by safety precautions.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, found that women were more likely than men to see the virus as a serious health problem, which contributed to greater overall compliance with safety guidelines. The researchers behind the study suggested this may explain why women have shown less vulnerability to the virus and lower COVID-19 mortality rates than men.

The researchers also suggested that men may benefit from separate pandemic safety campaigns targeted specifically to their gender.

“Policy makers who promote a new normality made of reduced mobility, face masks and other changes should, therefore, design a gender-differentiated communication if they want to increase the compliance of men,” study author Vincenzo Galasso said in a statement.

However, while women may be more willing to go along with COVID guidelines initially, the study also found that both and men and women’s pandemic vigilance has declined over time as so-called “COVID fatigue” has set in.