Women more likely than men to have tried to help others amid COVID-19 outbreak

Women are significantly more likely to have reached out to their friends, family and community to offer emotional support and help with basic tasks.

Women are significantly more likely to have tried to help their friends and community amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Seventy-eight percent of British women have been in contact with friends and family to make sure they are ok during the coronavirus crisis and lockdown, while only 63% of men have done the same.

Sixty-eight percent of women have used social media to stay connected with friends and family; among men, just over half have done this. In addition, 44% of women are using social media to keep in touch with neighbours and their community, compared to just 35% of men.

And while a third of men say they have phoned people who are vulnerable or self-isolating to make sure they are ok during the outbreak, this jumps to 44% among women.

In fact, men are significantly more likely to say they have not done anything to support others during the crisis.


However, when it comes to charity work and donations, men and women’s behaviours match more closely.

Six percent of both men and women have volunteered with a charity or group that helps vulnerable and self-isolating people since the start of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Six percent of women have donated food or goods to a food bank, along with 5% of men. While 6% of women have donated to other charities or groups that help vulnerable and self-isolating people, compared to 4% of men.

Although women appear to be better at reaching out to their own networks, these figures demonstrate parity when it comes to charitable giving.

Concerns about virus impact also split along gender lines

Women are also significantly more likely to be concerned about the risks of the coronavirus than men.

While three-quarters of British men say they are concerned about the personal risk of the coronavirus, 82% of women are similarly concerned. At the same time, 96% of women are concerned about the risk the coronavirus poses to the country as a whole, compared to 91% of men.

In general, Britons are significantly more concerned about how the outbreak will impact the country than about any effect on them personally.

Ninety-four percent of British adults are concerned about the risk coronavirus entails for the country, whereas 78% are concerned about the risk to themselves.

In addition, 63% of us are very concerned about the risk to the country, while just 36% are very concerned about personal risk.

Technical note

Ipsos interviewed a sample of 1072 British adults, aged 18-75, via our online Omnibus. Interviews were conducted online: 27-30 March 2020. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.