Gender differences and mask wearing: an observational study on a University campus and a mini-meta-analysis

Sophie Bainbridge, Sarah Allsop, Thomas Pollet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research informed by evolutionary theory has suggested that, all else being equal, men are expected to take greater risks than women. This has been evidenced in a range of domains, including health prevention behaviours. In this study, gender differences in mask wearing were recorded at three locations on a University campus (n = 1,435). Logistic regression and Bayes Factor analyses demonstrated that the data do not support a gender difference in mask wearing. This led us to supplement our findings with a mini-meta-analyis, synthesising the gender difference reported in ten papers (n = 73,493) observing mask wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic. This analysis is supportive of a weak effect whereby women are more inclined to wear a mask than men (OR = 1.54, 95% CI = 1.26 to 1.88). However, the mini-meta-analysis also suggested a considerable amount of heterogeneity. Our research calls for further work assessing the factors explaining this heterogeneity in the observed gender difference in mask wearing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Ethology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Nov 2022

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