[Extremely “men will literally blah blah blah instead of going to therapy” voice]: Men will literally not participate in hot vax summer instead of getting the covid vaccine.
Sadly, it’s true. According to the New York Times, there’s a significant gender gap among those who’ve been vaccinated in the U.S. so far, with women outnumbering men by more than 10 percentage points.
The Times reports that the disparity could be due in part to the demographics of the groups that were eligible to receive the vaccine in the earlier stages of its rollout. Women make up a larger proportion of Americans over 70, a subset of the population that was prioritized for some of the first doses of the vaccine; they also make up the vast majority of health care workers and school teachers. And because women lost jobs in higher numbers than men throughout the pandemic—and because so many had to be full-time caretakers for their children, as well as for parents and other relatives—they may have been more motivated to get the vaccine, both to reduce the risk for their family and in hopes of safely returning to work.
But layered on top of all of these other possible factors is the simple truth that men are less likely seek out healthcare than women, vaccinations included.
“This avoidance has been linked to masculinity ideals of men being strong, invincible and not asking for help,” Kristen W. Springer, an associate sociology professor at Rutgers University, told the Times. There still exists a pervasive “cultural idea that ‘real men’ don’t need preventive health care,” she said.
I know cultural ideas are powerful, and I know it can be a terrible time trying to schedule a vaccine appointment, which should be infinitely easier for everyone. But in the name of public safety, herd immunity, and horny summer 2021: Men, go get your vax!