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The COVID Gender Gap: Why Fewer Women Are Dying by Vincent Pons

According to a survey of citizens in eight countries, women are much more likely than men to view COVID-19 as a severe health problem. They are also more willing to wear face masks and follow other public health recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus countries.

The research suggests that public health officials should target their pandemic messaging to men differently than to women, to encourage safer behaviors and reduce the spread of the disease globally.

Research shows that men are dying from COVID in much higher numbers worldwide than women—as much as 50 percent more often. Experts have cited several factors that may make men more vulnerable to severe illness, including biological differences, higher smoking rates, and a greater reluctance to seek health care.

This new study points to another reason men may be at higher risk: a more cavalier and macho attitude toward the virus and a refusal to abide by public health rules, according to the article "Gender Differences in COVID-19 Attitudes and Behavior: Panel Evidence from Eight Countries (PDF)" in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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