The Washington Post's Jason Samenow reports that "people don’t take hurricanes as seriously if they have a feminine name and the consequences are deadly."
The conclusion is that of a wide-ranging study, Female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes, which found that the death toll nearly triples when a severe hurricane is given a feminine name.
Do people judge hurricane risks in the context of gender-based expectations? We use more than six decades of death rates from US hurricanes to show that feminine-named hurricanes cause significantly more deaths than do masculine-named hurricanes. Laboratory experiments indicate that this is because hurricane names lead to gender-based expectations about severity and this, in turn, guides respondents’ preparedness to take protective action. This finding indicates an unfortunate and unintended consequence of the gendered naming of hurricanes, with important implications for policymakers, media practitioners, and the general public concerning hurricane communication and preparedness.
The study was formulated to track individual willingness to seek shelter. In other words, sexism is what's killing them, not the storm. The death toll since 1950: 50 deaths from female storms compared to 23 from male storms.
Meteorologists seem unimpressed: "I am not ready to change the naming system based on one study," the WaPo quotes ones.
UPDATE: Sorry about the oldnews: turns out this is three years old and has been widely contested.
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