clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Men are less likely to wear face masks because they’re ‘not cool,’ study says

Some see masks as ‘a sign of weakness’

In this Saturday, May 9, 2020 photo, St. Louis RiverCats youth baseball player Carter Herrin, 13, from House Springs, wears a face covering during the Mother’s Day Classic baseball tournament organized by GameTime Tournaments in Cottleville, Mo.. “His mom sent it with him” said Carter’s dad Noah Herrin. Only a few players and coaches wore masks or face coverings during the tournament. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
In this Saturday, May 9, 2020, photo, St. Louis RiverCats youth baseball player Carter Herrin, 13, from House Springs, wears a face covering during the Mother’s Day Classic baseball tournament organized by GameTime Tournaments in Cottleville, Mo.. “His mom sent it with him” said Carter’s dad Noah Herrin. Only a few players and coaches wore masks or face coverings during the tournament.
David Carson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Associated Press

A new study suggests that men might be more likely to avoid face masks and coverings because of how they’ll be seen and perceived.

The new study — which comes from researchers at Middlesex University London in the UK and the Mathematical Science Research Institute in Berkeley, California — found that men are less likely than women to wear face masks and coverings, especially in areas where face masks aren’t required.

Making face masks required “has a larger effect on men than on women,” the authors of the study suggested, according to MarketWatch (via the New York Post)

The researchers said they’re less likely to believe COVID-19 will hurt them significantly.

Co-authors Valerio Capraro and Hélène Barcelo wrote, “The fact that men less than women intend to wear a face covering can be partly explained by the fact that men more than women believe that they will be relatively unaffected by the disease.”

Men said face masks made them look uncool or weak.

“Men more than women agree that wearing a face covering is shameful, not cool, a sign of weakness, and a stigma,” the study authors wrote.

The study surveyed 2,459 people.

According to the Business Insider, the researchers said the study represented most in an urban environment. However, white people and men — aged 25 to 54 — were overrepresented.

However, researchers found women were more likely to wear face masks during the SARS outbreak. Researchers found women wore face masks more often during the 2009 H1N1 epidemic.

Other research shows men may be more vulnerable to the coronavirus, too. The study found men ay have more of a particular enzyme in their blood, which might make them more vulnerable to COVID-19, according to USA Today.

In Italy, the coronavirus took a higher toll on men. Experts said being a man might be a risk factor for the illness, according to The New York Times.

“Being male is as much a risk factor for the coronavirus as being old,” Sabra Klein, a scientist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told The New York Times. “People need to be aware that there is this pattern. Just like being old means you’re at higher risk, so does being male. It’s a risk factor.”