Men Think Wearing a Face Mask is a Sign of Weakness

Toxic masculinity, clearly still hard at work

Lockdown measures have eased in some parts of the region but we’re still very much living through a pandemic. Case counts and hospitalizations still continue to rise in numbers, so unless you want to witness another major outbreak, it’s never been more imperative for everyone to wear a facemask. But there’s a particular segment of society that refuses to do so: men. 

Why? Toxic masculinity. A new study shows that men are less likely to wear a facemask because they are believed to be ‘a sign of weakness’. They also believe it’s ‘shameful’, and ‘not cool’. The study also found that men believe that they are unlikely to see serious impacts due to COVID-19—despite a report that proves that men are more likely to be infected with COVID-19 and are also more likely to die from COVID-19.

The new findings align with previous research that showcases the ways in which toxic masculinity informs decision-making for men. Men who subscribe to traditional masculine gender norms are known to be less likely to take preventative health measures than women. 

And it extends beyond that. A recent study showed that heterosexual men are less likely to recycle in fear of their sexuality being questioned, despite putting the environment at great risk.

Similarly, when it comes to coronavirus, research has shown that wearing a mask could drop infection rates significantly. It’s been found that if 80 per cent of a given population wore masks, case numbers could plummet to approximately one twelfth of their rate.

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