In news that's hard for me to wrap my simple mind around, a recent study has discovered that hurricanes with female names have historically killed more people because folks don't take them as seriously as male-named hurricanes, and don't prepare as well. Wait -- what? What the hell is wrong with people?! You could name a hurricane Little Miss Prissypants and I'm still gonna lock myself in a bomb shelter for the week.
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 female-named hurricanes produced an average of 45 deaths compared to 23 deaths in male-named storms, or almost double the number of fatalities.
The difference in death rates between genders was even more pronounced when comparing strongly masculine names versus strongly feminine ones.
"[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, study co-author and professor of marketing at the University of Illinois, says the results imply an "implicit sexism"; that is, we make decisions about storms based on the gender of their name without even knowing it.
"When under the radar, that's when it [the sexism] has the potential to influence our judgments," Shavitt said.
I have to admit, people are stupid. If there is one thing I've learned in life it's to be deathly afraid of women. I would take a guy with a knife pointed at my throat over an angry woman any day of the week -- INCLUDING SUNDAYS. Who are these people who aren't taking female-named hurricanes seriously? Why is Hurricane Nicole not scary enough to get people to take the proper precautions? "Because her last name is Nicole." BUT HER FIRST NAME IS F***ING 'HURRICANE'.
Thanks to Allison, who agrees if people aren't smart enough to take a female-named hurricane seriously, it's best to just let Darwin do his thing.