Some researchers speculate: it’s because men live fast and loose lifestyles. They drink, they smoke, they swear, they offend the Holy Spirit. This lazy explanation falls apart, of course, when considering that male infants also die at higher rates than females. I’ve seen some scientists speculate that it’s due to the Y chromosome — another lazy explanation since that is the only genetic feature that differentiates males from females. But even saying “Y chromosome” just obscures the stereotype, since for many people it is synonymous with aggressive and reckless male behavior.
The article linked below is over the top, but it addresses something important in stereotyping. When we are called to explain something totally mysterious, stereotypes are always there for us. They provide quiet social background knowledge, rushing to fill any vacuum in our understanding of the world. Even in peer reviewed articles, scientists are invited (even expected) to give speculative hypotheses for unexpected findings. In these moments, it’s surprising how often stereotyped ideas leak into the discourse. When stereotypes are on the table, we tend to discard any standard of reason or rigor. Their stupidity is invisible to us. When women have a mystery ailment, it must be related to menstruation. When it’s men, it’s their unhealthy and aggressive testosterone-induced behaviors. When it’s a racial minority, it must be due to their disfavored stereotyped characteristics.
Speaking as a male in a high-risk category, I’d like to see less lazy explanations. COVID-19's Gender Gap - Quillette
When Hilary Clinton said in 1998 that “women have always been the primary victims of war,” it sent a chill down the spine of many. It is a questionable piece of emotional accounting to calculate that, even though men die in greater numbers than women—often after being drafted unwillingly into combat—the impact on women is greater because they lose male relatives, become refugees, and are left with the responsibility of raising children alone. But if you think Clinton’s accounting was reasonable, then you will have no problem with the narrative around the gender death gap in the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. You might have noticed that in the media (for example, the BBC, the Guardian), and even in the world of health (for example, the World Health Organisation and the Lancet), a commonly recurring narrative has developed around the pandemic: More men are dying, but the real victims are women. Moreover, this narrative usually implies that men’s deaths are largely due to men’s poor decisions about health behaviour. Are men’s deaths their own fault? The Lancet …