Storms with female names have historically been significantly more deadly because people neither consider them as risky nor take the same precautions, the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concludes.The researchers didn't just look at the death tolls of past storms. They also conducted experiments asking people how they would prepare for storms:
Researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State University examined six decades of hurricane death rates according to gender, spanning 1950 and 2012. Of the 47 most damaging hurricanes, the male-named hurricane produced an average of 23 deaths compared to 45 deaths for female-named hurricanes, or almost double the number of fatalities. (The study excluded Katrina and Audrey, outlier storms that would skew the model).
Respondents predicted male hurricanes to be more intense the female hurricanes in one exercise. In another exercise, the hurricane sex affected how respondents said they prepare for a hurricane.The researchers suggest that maybe hurricane naming practices should be reassessed, but come on. "People are too f'ing stupid to realize that hurricanes with lady names are neither their moms nor lingerie models and get to shelter" is a reason for giving Darwin Awards, not renaming hurricanes. This could be a valuable goddamn learning experience for humanity; are we going to remove the chance for that education by taking away people's incentive to take responsibility for their own safety? Are we a society in which sexism is so accepted and indulged that it's a valid reason not to read a weather report?
“People imagining a ‘female’ hurricane were not as willing to seek shelter,” Shavitt said. “The stereotypes that underlie these judgments are subtle and not necessarily hostile toward women – they may involve viewing women as warmer and less aggressive than men.”