Hurricanes With Female Names Kill More People, Study Says

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According to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois, hurricanes with female names kill more people than storms with male names.

According to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois, hurricanes with female names kill more people than storms with male names.

The results of the study are based on data from over 60 years of records spanning 94 hurricanes that hit the United States between the years 1950 and 2012.

On average, hurricanes with masculine sounding names killed around 15 people, while storms with feminine names killed about 42 people.


Sharon Shavitt, a professor of marketing at the University of Illinois and a co-author of the study is quoted as saying: "In judging the intensity of a storm, people appear to be applying their beliefs about how men and women behave. This makes a female-named hurricane, especially one with a very feminine name such as Belle or Cindy, seem gentler and less violent."

Other experts are dubious of the findings, saying there must be other explanations for the death tolls of storms with different gendered names.

Meteorologists only used women’s names for hurricanes prior to 1979, and earlier storms killed more people because the warning and protection systems were less advanced than they are now.

The average death toll of hurricanes with male and female names evened out after 1979, with female named storms being marginally higher.

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