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Men are less likely to approve, comply with Covid-19 health policies: Survey

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 16, 2020 Published on October 16, 2020

Call for gender-differentiated communication if they want to increase the compliance of men

According to a recent study, women are at a lower risk of developing severe coronavirus symptoms than men because they diligently adhere to Covid-19 protocols.

One of the study authors said in a statement: “Policymakers who promote new normality made of reduced mobility, face masks, and other behavioural changes, should, therefore, design a gender-differentiated communication if they want to increase the compliance of men.”

The researchers noticed substantial gender differences in both attitudes and behaviours through a two-wave survey that took place between March-April this year.

Also read: Women more likely to follow Covid-19 protocols than men: Study

The researchers surveyed 21,649 respondents in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This was the part of the international project REPEAT (REpresentations, PErceptions, and ATtitudes on the Covid-19).

They found that women around the world were more inclined than men to consider Covid-19 a very serious health problem. 59 per cent of women took the pandemic seriously, while only 48.7 per cent men took it seriously. This dipped further in April as only 39.6 women took the coronavirus seriously against 33 per cent men.

The study showed that women were also more inclined to agree with public policies that fight the pandemic, such as mobility restrictions and social distancing, among others. 54.1 per cent women agreed to public policies against 47.7 per cent men in March. The number declined in April as 42.6 per cent of women agreed with public policies against 37.4 per cent of men in April.

Also read: People likely to violate Covid-19 protocols due to ‘comparative optimism’: Study

Furthermore, women were clearly more inclined to follow the rules concerning Covid-19 as 88.1 per cent of women followed the Covid-19 rules against 83.2 per cent of men in March.

Profeta further added: “The biggest differences between men and women relate to behaviours that serve to protect others above all, such as coughing in the elbow, unlike those that can protect both themselves and others.”

The research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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Published on October 16, 2020
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