Story at a glance

  • The poll found 72 percent of women say they have been avoiding large public gatherings while 58 percent of men say they are doing the same.
  • Seventy-three percent of women report washing their hands more and using disinfectants, while 60 percent of men report doing so.
  • Women were also more likely to support aggressive measures by the federal government to slow down the virus.

A new poll shows men in the United States are less likely to follow the health guidance aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus and are less concerned about the threat of COVID-19 than women.

A Reuters-Ipsos poll taken March 18-24 of nearly 4,500 Americans found that while 72 percent of women say they have been adhering to health officials' guidance to avoid large public gatherings to curb the spread of the virus, just 58 percent of men say they are following such guidance. Meanwhile, 54 percent of women said they are very concerned about the virus compared to just 45 percent of men. 

At least 65 percent of women say they are avoiding close physical contact with others, while 56 percent of men say they are doing so, according to Reuters.

The poll also found 73 percent of women reported washing their hands more frequently and using disinfectants, compared with 60 percent of men. 


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Women were also more likely to support stronger restrictions by the U.S. government to curb the spread of the virus, such as nighttime curfews, bans on public gatherings and stopping public transportation and international flights, according to Reuters. At least 58 percent of women favored closing all public schools, while 52 percent of men agreed. 

The U.S. is now leading the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 85,000 cases and 1,300 deaths. States across the nation have announced stay-at-home orders while the federal government has advised Americans to practice social distancing to avoid spreading the virus. President Trump Thursday told governors his administration was planning to issue new guidelines based on geographic risk factors for COVID-19.  


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Published on Mar 27, 2020