The COVID-19 Lockdown - A Live Experiment Revealing Gender Differences

The COVID-19 Lockdown - A Live Experiment Revealing Gender Differences
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New research shows men and women demonstrated typical and cliché-sounding behavioural patterns during the COVID-19 lockdown in spring 2020. The findings are published in Scientific Reports and are based on mobile phone data from 1.2 million Austrians. 

Among some of the typical and expected behavioural patterns, the researchers observed that women made longer phone calls while men preferred to go out. While phone calls were made to fewer people, the conversations were longer, especially for women. Women to women calls were nearly 1.5 times longer than before the pandemic while calls from men to women lasted nearly twice as long. Calls from women to men were 80% longer. Duration of calls between men rose by 66% only. These figures suggest that women chose more active strategies to cope with the stress by talking to other people. 

Average duration of phone calls around first Corona lock-down in Austria

 Image Credit: CSH Vienna

Findings also show that women limited their mobility significantly more and for a longer period of time than men. Recreational areas in Vienna and shopping malls were more likely to be frequented by men during the lockdown than women. Even after the measures were lifted, men were quicker to return to their pre-pandemic mobility patterns compared to women. 

While most of these patterns are not surprising, they provide more evidence that social behaviours should be considered by policymakers when outlining strategies to deal with an acute crisis such as the one we are experiencing now. More targeted planning and more gender-equitable solutions and measures could be achieved by considering psychological factors and social sciences. 


Source: Scientific Reports

Image Credit: iStock 

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Reisch T et al. (2021) Behavioral gender differences are reinforced during the COVID-19 crisis. Sci Rep 11, 19241. 

Published on : Wed, 29 Sep 2021

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gender differences, COVID-19, COVID-19 lockdowns The COVID-19 Lockdown - A Live Experiment Revealing Gender Differences

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