Health & Wellness

Men Are Less Likely to Wear a Mask Indoors

Most Canadians support making masks mandatory indoors


Canadians between 45 and 59 are the least likely to wear a mask in indoor settings, according to a poll released by Abacus Data.

In a poll of 1,500 Canadians, 55% of respondents said they always or almost always wear a mask when entering public indoor settings, while a quarter (23%) say they never do; 22% wear a mask half the time or less than half the time.

Only 14% of respondents said they opposed laws making masks mandatory, while 62% said they would “strongly support” such a law, and another 24% said that while they wouldn’t support a law, they would nevertheless “go along with it.” Another poll, conducted by Leger for the Association of Canadian Studies, found that 67% of Canadians support mandatory indoor masking.

The Abacus Data poll found that men were less likely than women to wear masks indoors, with 51% saying they always or almost always do, compared to 59% of women. The results of an Angus Reid poll released on July 18 also found men less likely to wear a mask.

Where one lives in Canada played a part in the Abacus poll results: 40% of rural respondents said they never wear a mask indoors. Donning a mask was less popular in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Atlantic Canada than in Ontario, where the practice was more common.

“Mask wearing is common but far from universal in Canada,” Bruce Anderson and David Coletto, the two researchers behind the poll, wrote in their summary of its findings. “However, hesitation to use masks seems more a function of where one lives, social conditioning, and population density than a philosophical or political barrier.”

Conservative voters were most likely (30%) to say they never wear masks indoors, though the divide wasn’t largely significant, given an national figure of 23%. “While there is some variation along partisan lines, it would be an exaggeration to see these differences as implying a deep political culture divide,” the researchers said.

“While 42% of Conservatives prefer a personal choice over a mandatory approach, actual opposition to mandated masks is only about a quarter of Conservatives.”

Photo: iStock/R.M. Nunes.