Men are less likely to wear face masks because they’re a sign of weakness, study finds – The Sun

MEN are less likely to wear face masks because they think the coverings are a "sign of weakness", a study has revealed.

Researchers analysing how gender plays a role when it comes to whether or not people have donned a mask during the pandemic found men are more likely to leave their coverings at home.

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The study by Middlesex University London and the Mathematical Science Research Institute, Berkeley in the United States also found men felt "negative emotions" when wearing a face mask.

In the UK there have been over 33,000 deaths caused by the coronavirus and people have been told to wear face coverings and masks when using public transport or when they visit supermarkets.

Despite this pictures from London today showed busy Tube carriages where people were not implementing social distancing or wearing face coverings as recommended by the government earlier this week.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has also recommended that everyone wear a face covering or mask when going out in public.

These coverings can be made at home and governments have urged people to not buy up stock of medical grade masks as these need to be accessed by health care professionals.

In order to encourage people to make their face masks at home, the UK government issued a "how to" guide which details how to make face coverings from old T-shirts and fabric you may have in the house.

The authors of the report Valerio Capraro and Hélène Barcelo said: "Men more than women agree that wearing a face covering is shameful, not cool, a sign of weakness, and a stigma; and these gender differences also mediate gender differences in intentions to wear a face covering."

The study sampled 2,458 people for the research, but the authors admitted men were slightly over represented in the study as 51 per cent of the participants were male.

They said the average respondents seemed to be left leaning when it came to political alignment and added that there was a bigger sway towards people between the ages of 25 and 54.

Caparo and Barcelo said that they also found that men didn’t think they would be as affected by the virus as much as women.

"Men less than women intend to wear a face covering, but this difference almost disappears in counties where wearing a face covering is mandatory.

“We also found that men less than women believe that they will be seriously affected by the coronavirus, and this partly mediates gender differences in intentions to wear a face covering."

The authors added this was "ironic" as previous studies have shown that men are at a greater risk to the virus than women.

Earlier this month scientists at Oxford University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) looked at NHS England data from more than 17 million people.

Men, as well as those over the age of 60 were found to be at a higher risk of contracting and losing their lives to the coronavirus.


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