Women were more likely to break Covid rules than men – and I think we all know why

Traditionally, we think of men as risk takers and rule breakers. It isn’t a form of gender stereotyping, as there is substantial evidence that supports this view.

However, according to a new report from the University of York, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, women were twice as likely as men to break Covid lockdown rules, which counters conventional thinking.

The authors suggest this departure from established gender roles, where women broke lockdown laws which banned meeting up with friends and family at home, was due to the caring responsibilities that are predominantly taken on by women. This surprising finding is explained by the way existing gender inequalities around who cares for children or other dependents were amplified by the introduction of legal restrictions.


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