Taking The Her Out of Hurricanes: New Study Shows Feminine Named Hurricanes Are More Dangerous Because People Don’t Take Them As Seriously

250px-Cyclone_MonicamalefemaleDespite the carnage like by hurricanes like Katrina, many people still think feminine hurricanes blow like a girl. Researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State University have studied hurricanes over the last 60 years and have come to a surprising discovery: feminine named hurricanes are more dangerous because people do not consider them as dangerous and do not take the same precautions as masculine named hurricanes. As a result, they found that female-named hurricanes (like Monica shown left) produced almost double the number of fatalities. The simple difference between naming a hurricane Sam rather than Samantha could be measured in lives.

The numbers are quite striking, literally. To minimize differentials of scale, the researchers focused on the 47 most damaging hurricanes and found that female-named hurricanes produced an average of 45 deaths compared to 23 deaths in male-named storms — or almost double the number of fatalities.

I do not harbor any delusions about “Mother Nature.” Having lived in Louisiana and going through a number of hurricanes, the one I remember most vividly was my first (yes, there is never one like your first love or your first hurricane). It was Florence. I came to like hurricanes for their sheer power and massive weather patterns. Having been close to a tornado in Illinois, I much preferred the hurricanes. I also went through Hurricane Isabel and few would say that she did not “hit like a boy.” Sandy was also a trip and a half for us in driving from New Orleans.

Notably, the student excluded Katrina and Audrey to use a more standard set of large hurricanes.

They also found that some names are just . . . well . . . to girly: “[Our] model suggests that changing a severe hurricane’s name from Charley … to Eloise … could nearly triple its death toll.”

They even created tests for people in the study using different names in a set of questions. Both men and women treated the female-named hurricanes as less threatening and requiring less preparation. They found that the difference was based on the view that women are “warmer and less aggressive than men.”

The difference is interesting because when we started to name hurricanes, we only used female names. There are two obvious solutions. One would be to simply use male names but that would produce a torrent of objections over male-dominant meteorology and a movement of equal names for equal storms.

215px-ItsPatThe second possible solution is to stop using human names. to avoid “well-developed and widely held gender stereotypes, with unanticipated and potentially deadly consequences.” Of course there is always “Pat” the gender-bending hurricane.

The alternative would be a number system or alternative name system. Colors do not work particularly well: pink, yellow, white and violet could be viewed as less than threatening while magenta and lavender would leave bodies piled in the streets. Dog names have the same problem. Hurricane Goldendoodle would have me outside grilling.

So I have a solution. Let’s use the name of contemporary politicians. The public views them with increasing disgust and believes that they are doing unspeakable damage this country with almost arbitrary and capricious fury. Hurricane Pelosi and Hurricane Boehner would send rivaling red and blue states running for cover. We have an endless supply of politicians and, unlike animals or colors, their perception by the public is uniformly bad. Just another helpful suggestion from our blog.

Source: Washington Post

47 thoughts on “Taking The Her Out of Hurricanes: New Study Shows Feminine Named Hurricanes Are More Dangerous Because People Don’t Take Them As Seriously”

  1. paulette92122

    Storms should be identified by numbers i.e. the first hurricane of the 2014 hurricane season should be identified as 01.2014. It would serve to keep people informed as to the (ever increasing) number of major storms and also eliminate any stigma associated with a specifically named disaster. While we’re at it, let’s also do away with the phrase “an act of god” which is thrown about.
    =================
    Indeed.

  2. troofie,

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” -Jiddu Krishnamurti

    The newbie society of sickos here who are not aware of their bigotry and bias need not be accommodated.

  3. So, did the researchers go to hell or to heaven to interview those who did not heed the hurricane warnings and were killed allegedly because of the gender implications of the name?

  4. Storms should be identified by numbers i.e. the first hurricane of the 2014 hurricane season should be identified as 01.2014. It would serve to keep people informed as to the (ever increasing) number of major storms and also eliminate any stigma associated with a specifically named disaster. While we’re at it, let’s also do away with the phrase “an act of god” which is thrown about.

  5. Give them all male black sounding names and you’ll save many lives. The entire state will clear out on the approach of Hurricane Tyrone or Hurricane Dawan.

    Maybe Sheila Jackson Lee was onto something.

  6. truth, Thanks for joining the anti-PC commando squad. Our fight is righteous, our enemy pernicious.

  7. The misogyn an biases of commenters can be elicited at the drop of a hat. I prefer to wait for the followup when we learn that this study is faulty and why.

  8. I think that naming hurricanes after women should be continued since it serves a useful function of ridding society of conservatives who are deluded by names and appearances. By mixing the names up between masculine and feminine names, it confuses them enough so that they react in this socially useful way.

  9. ps- none of that was directed at you Mr Turley. I found your article humorous.
    I am just complaining in general lol

  10. ” you throw like a girl”
    Theres a reason that statement exists. BECAUSE IT IS TRUE.

    The pussification of males continues.

  11. Men and women are different. Accept it.

    In fact, CELEBRATE the differences. Christ.

  12. gender equality for violence? LOL
    Now we need Political Correctness for hurricanes ? Please.
    to anyone who suggests we need to view women equally as men in regards to fear/violence, let me ask you this. Take the average man and take the average woman. Who would you rather punch you in the face? Who would you rather tackle you in football. Who would you rather be on your team as a pitcher in baseball.
    Yeah what I thought. This gender equality garbage is a bunch of horsesh*t

  13. How about using alpha, beta, charlie, delta, echo, foxtrot, gamma, etc? Charlie’s a guys’ name but I’m sure someone who has already had their coffee can up with a substitute.

  14. Professor: You might want to reconsider the title of this post; some might take it the wrong way.

    Incidentally, I’d take any hurricane seriously if it was named after my wife.

  15. DavidM: Doing your gymnastics routine early, I see.

    Instead of waiting for society to wake up to the dangers of hurricanes regardless of how we label them, why not create more awareness about storm preparedness by focusing on the classification aspect.

  16. What an interesting topic. My first thought was fine, let’s just use male names. But you are right to point out how somebody might object to that. We will have to wait for a tolerant society that does not force gender equality on everyone and instead celebrates gender diversity for that to happen.

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