Experts say that public health best practices have faced several of the social requirements that men in many cultures are forced to follow in order to assert their masculinity: demonstrate strength instead of weakness, show a willingness to take risks, hide your fear seems to be in control.
Men’s resistance to weakness – and their willingness to take risks – was proven by scientists long before Covid-19. Studies show that men are less likely than women to wear seat belts and helmets or receive flu vaccines. They are more likely to speed up or drive drunk. They are less likely to seek medical help …
“To admit you’re threatened is to look weak, so you have to have that bravado,”
This is not a new problem for those working in the field of public health communications. Stacey Hust, an associate professor of communications at Washington State University, said prevention campaigns around sexual violence often try to challenge male ideals by making better behavior “worthy of the alpha male.”