The attitudes and behaviors of women may have contributed to reducing their vulnerability and mortality. A survey in 8 countries shows that they consider the coronavirus a more serious problem than men and who is more likely approve and comply with the measures against Covid-19.

“Policy makers promoting a new normal composed of reduced mobility are faced with masks and other behavioral changes. They should therefore design a gender-differentiated communication If they want increase men’s compliance“, explains Vincenzo Galasso, one of the authors of this new study on gender differences in the reaction to Covid-19.

In his work, published in the magazine Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the authors note substantial gender differences both in the attitudes as well as behaviors through a survey in two waves (March and April 2020), with 21,649 respondents in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, which is part of the international project ‘REPEAT’.

Women around the world are more inclined than men to view Covid-19 as a very serious health problem (59% versus 48.7% in March and 39.6% versus 33% in April), are more likely to be according to public policies against the pandemic, such as mobility restrictions and social distancing (54.1 against 47.7 in March and 42.6 against 37.4 in April) and are clearly more you are inclined to follow the relative rules the coronavirus (88.1% against 83.2% in March and 77.6% against 71.8% in April).

He percentage of people that meet the standards decreases over time, particularly in Germany, from 85.8% of women and 81.5% of men in March to 70.5% of women and 63.7% of men in April, but the great difference between the sexes persists.

“The biggest differences between men and women are related to behaviors that serve to protect others especially such as coughing in the elbow, as opposed to those who can protect themselves and others, “the researchers explain. Gender differences persist even after the study controlled for a large number of sociodemographic characteristics and psychological factors.

However, those differences are less between married couples, who live together and share their opinions with each other, and among the individuals most directly exposed to the pandemic. They decrease over time if men and women are exposed to the same flow of information about the pandemic.