People don’t take hurricanes with feminine names as seriously as the hurricanes with male names.
In fact, the difference between Hurricane Betty and Hurricane Bob could be fatal.Researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State University have found female-named storms have historically killed more people than their male counter-parts.
Reasons for this include female-named hurricanes are not taken as seriously as their male counterparts by the general public and people are not taking the same precautions to protect themselves from damage.
Six decades of hurricane death rates according to gender, show that of the 47 most damaging hurricanes, female-named ones produced an average of 45 deaths compared to 23 deaths from the male-named storms.
“Our model suggests that changing a severe hurricane’s name from Charley… to Eloise…could nearly triple its death toll,” the study says.
Sharon Shavitt, co-author of the study and Professor of Marketing at the University of Illinois says the results imply an ‘implicit sexism’ – that is, people are making decisions about the severity of storms based on the gender of their names, without even realising it.
“When under the radar, that’s when [the sexism] has the potential to influence our judgements,” Shavitt said.
While we’re not entirely sure why a name makes such a difference to people’s perceptions, it’s definitely advice to take on board.
Next time Hurricane Lucy blows through town, please remember that she’s not there to lovingly caress your house, she is there to DESTROY it. Get the f**k out as soon as you can.
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