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      Gender, face mask perceptions, and face mask wearing: Are men being dangerous during the COVID-19 pandemic?

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          Abstract

          Recent popular press authors have proposed that men are less likely to wear face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigate this notion in the current article by analyzing three extant datasets. We also assess the mediating effect of eight different face mask perceptions in the relation between gender and face mask wearing via the Face Mask Perceptions Scale. Across the three datasets, the sample-size weighted meta-analytic correlation between gender and face mask wearing was not statistically significant, and no face mask perception was a consistent mediator of this effect. Gender did have significant relations with two face mask perceptions, however. Men were more likely to perceive face masks as infringing on their independence, whereas women were more likely to perceive face masks as uncomfortable. Therefore, although gender does not relate to whether a person wears a face mask, it does relate to face mask perceptions. We offer several suggestions for research and practice from these results, such as the positioning of face mask wearing alongside passive health behaviors, the broader study of face mask perceptions' outcomes beyond face mask wearing, as well as the creation of interventions to target differing face mask perceptions across genders.

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          Most cited references16

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          Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks

          We identified seasonal human coronaviruses, influenza viruses and rhinoviruses in exhaled breath and coughs of children and adults with acute respiratory illness. Surgical face masks significantly reduced detection of influenza virus RNA in respiratory droplets and coronavirus RNA in aerosols, with a trend toward reduced detection of coronavirus RNA in respiratory droplets. Our results indicate that surgical face masks could prevent transmission of human coronaviruses and influenza viruses from symptomatic individuals.
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            Sex and Gender Differences in the Outcomes of Vaccination over the Life Course

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              Is Open Access

              Pandemic influenza in Australia: Using telephone surveys to measure perceptions of threat and willingness to comply

              Background Baseline data is necessary for monitoring how a population perceives the threat of pandemic influenza, and perceives how it would behave in the event of pandemic influenza. Our aim was to develop a module of questions for use in telephone health surveys on perceptions of threat of pandemic influenza, and on preparedness to comply with specific public health behaviours in the event of pandemic influenza. Methods A module of questions was developed and field tested on 192 adults using the New South Wales Department of Health's in-house Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) facility. The questions were then modified and re field tested on 202 adults. The module was then incorporated into the New South Wales Population Health Survey in the first quarter of 2007. A representative sample of 2,081 adults completed the module. Their responses were weighted against the state population. Results The reliability of the questions was acceptable with kappa ranging between 0.25 and 0.51. Overall 14.9% of the state population thought pandemic influenza was very or extremely likely to occur; 45.5% were very or extremely concerned that they or their family would be affected by pandemic influenza if it occurred; and 23.8% had made some level of change to the way they live their life because of the possibility of pandemic influenza. In the event of pandemic influenza, the majority of the population were willing to: be vaccinated (75.4%), be isolated (70.2%), and wear a face mask (59.9%). People with higher levels of threat perception are significantly more likely to be willing to comply with specific public health behaviours. Conclusion While only 14.9% of the state population thought pandemic influenza was very or extremely likely to occur, a significantly higher proportion were concerned for self and family should a pandemic actually occur. The baseline data collected in this survey will be useful for monitoring changes over time in the population's perceptions of threat, and preparedness to comply with specific public health behaviours.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Pers Individ Dif
                Pers Individ Dif
                Personality and Individual Differences
                Elsevier Ltd.
                0191-8869
                0191-8869
                8 October 2020
                15 February 2021
                8 October 2020
                : 170
                : 110417
                Affiliations
                The University of South Alabama, Mitchell College of Business, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]5811 USA Drive S., Rm. 337, Mitchell College of Business, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, 36688, USA.
                Article
                S0191-8869(20)30608-5 110417
                10.1016/j.paid.2020.110417
                7543707
                88264042-6536-4180-9041-cf9265d8c6f1
                © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

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