Women’s attitudes may lead to better Covid compliance

20 November 2020

A study across eight countries has revealed that women consider Covid-19 a more serious health problem than men and are more likely to approve of and comply with health policies.

This may be one of the reasons for their lower vulnerability and mortality, compared with men.

The survey in March and April 2020 had 21,649 respondents in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, the UK and the US.

The researchers saw substantial gender differences in attitudes and behaviours.

‘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,’ said co-author Paola Profeta from Bocconi University.

Differences were smaller among couples living together and among individuals directly exposed to Covid-19.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, recommends gender-based public health policies.