Storms with Female Names Are Deemed ‘Less Scary’

Storms with Female Names Are Deemed ‘Less Scary’

Well, here’s a new one: A study conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State found that Americans are less afraid of hurricanes that have female names. “Less afraid” means that fewer people are more likely to seek shelter and help when the storm is portrayed as dangerous, which could lead to more deaths.

For example, in one of their experiments, the academics discovered that hurricanes with female names caused an average of 45 deaths, whereas hurricanes with male names caused only 23 deaths. As one researcher pointed out, simply changing the name of Hurricane Charley to Hurricane Eloise could have easily tripled the death toll.

Do you think it’s ridiculous that sexism has gone so far as to even affect how we sense a dangerous occurrence?

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