More than 80% of people fined for breaking lockdown measures are men, data suggests

Sanjana Varghese
Monday 27 April 2020 09:00
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Lockdown fatigue is real – in the US and in the UK, more and more people seem to be breaking social distancing rules after a month of lockdown measures.

But one group of people seem to be fined much more than others for breaking lockdown rules – men.

The Yorkshire Post found that out of the 153 people who had been fined under new police powers in the county since the beginning of April, 126 of them were men – which is more than 80 per cent of all the fines issued. They were fined for activities which have been prohibited under lockdown measures – such as camping, barbecuing and gathering in public.

Some of the people fined include a group of men who were drinking in the beer garden of a closed pub.

Dr Kitty Nichols, a lecturer from the University of Sheffield, told The Yorkshire Post that there were a number of possible explanations.

Men have complex relationships with their health – they often feel as if they are invincible. They are less likely to report physical health issues or to admit physical weaknesses, so that means they're more likely to still go out and about.

The Yorkshire Post also found that of the men who were fined, 119 of them were men between the ages of 18 and 45. Dr Nichols suggested that this may be because men over 55 tended to have families, and so face social pressure from the people they knew to stay at home.

There are also other reasons why women may be more likely to follow social distancing – women tend to be primary caregivers at home, so they may have more familial responsibilities, and women are also more likely to be nurses or work in supermarkets.

However, statistics demonstrate that men are more likely to die from Covid-19 than women – middle aged men and older men in particular die at higher rates than their female counterparts. In previous coronavirus outbreaks – such as Sars and Mers – the same trend was also observed, although the exact reasons why are still unclear. Lifestyle, learned behaviour and biological factors – such as hormones – all play a role.

Across the UK, police forces are dealing with a range of behaviour which defies lockdown measures, even if it may not seem to do so – for example, the North Wales Police Force asked people to stay at home and avoid travelling for exercise, after fining people who had driven up from England to climb Mount Snowdon.

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