How fragile is masculinity? Enough to get you killed in a global pandemic, apparently.
As the invisible and infectious new novel coronavirus sweeps through the globe, a worrying research paper suggests that men are less likely to wear a face-mask, since they view it as 'a sign of weakness.'
The study, which was authored by researchers from Middlesex University London in the UK and the Mathematical Science Research Institute in Berkeley, California, found that mandatory face coverings “has a larger effect on men than on women.”
The study also found how men in the US had less intention of wearing a face cover than women, especially especially in counties that don’t make face-masks compulsory.
This intention is explained by the authors, Valerio Capraro and Hélène Barcelo, "partly by the fact that men more than women believe that they will be relatively unaffected by the disease."
The data, however, proves different. Men are more susceptible to the disease, finds the research Some experts have even estimated that males who contract COVID-19 are over twice as likely as women to die from the virus, one major reason may be because men'ss blood contains greater concentrations of an enzyme that helps the lethal virus infect cells.
"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 intentions to wear a face covering,” Capraro and Barcelo wrote in the paper.
The sample size of the study was 2,459 Amazon Mechanical Turk recruits, which was "quite heterogeneous" and representative of people in urban areas.
The World Health Organization had recommended face-masks after studies found that the virus could transfer not just by respiratory droplets via sneezing or couching, but also from aerosols from activities as simple as talking.