Female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes

Alex Scouras Jun 04, 2014

In an article more typical of the Onion than PNAS, researchers found that, normalized for pressure and damage, high intensity storms with feminine names caused more deaths due to "gender-based expectations about severity". Using data from 1950-2014, thier model "suggests that changing a severe hurricane’s name from Charley (MFI = 2.889, 14.87 deaths) to Eloise (MFI = 8.944, 41.45 deaths) could nearly triple its death toll." The authors followed up with 5 lab studies assessing perceived risk based on names. Male hurricanes were perceived as being more dangerous and survey participants were more likely to evacuate in otherwise identical scenarios. Female hurricanes were perceived to be as dangrous as unnamed hurricanes. Notably, the differential perception of danger was consistent for both male and female study participants. The authors note that "Meteorologists and geoscientists have called for greater consideration of social science factors that predict responses to natural hazards."  

Article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/06/02/female-na...