But some researchers claim that because Irma is a female name, the death and destruction will be much higher.
Essentially – and in the headline of the study, they claim that “Female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes.”
Since hurricane names are determined long before they even form – and for the last 40 years, they alternate between male and female names, the researchers aren’t suggesting that female storms become deadlier because they’re given female names. That would be stupid.
No, no. What the researchers have concluded is that when hurricanes have feminine names, like Daisy or Chloe, they’re not taken as seriously as masculine names, like Biff or Victor. People hear about “Hurricane Chelsea” and they don’t board up their windows and head for the hills, but if “Hurricane Lance” is at the doorstep, people freak out.
Of course, that’s also incredibly stupid.
But apparently, it’s true.
The researchers conducted several experiments giving college students (there’s your first problem, by the way) a random list of male and female fictional hurricane names and asked them – knowing nothing else – to estimate the intensity of the hurricane.
The masculine names were “Kyle,” “Marco,” “Arthur” and the like and the female names were “Dolly,” “Laura” and “Hanna.”
It turns out that people assume girly names will be less powerful.
What they interpreted that to mean is that people aren’t going to react the same way. They’ll ignore evacuation warnings, not stock up on food and generally ignore the warning if Hurricane Daisy, a Category 5 storm, is barreling toward them.
This – of course – is entirely and completely due to America’s sexist, patriarchal, misogynistic, capitalist system of oppression (I added the “capitalist” one, but SJWs always bring that one up, so I thought I’d toss that in there).
So, since young, dimwitted college kids don’t have the cognitive ability to figure out that the name of a storm has no bearing on its relative strength, the researchers have concluded that the World Meteorological Organization – who names these storms globally – should use a different system to identify storms. Here’s how they put it:
For policymakers, these findings suggest the value of considering a new system for hurricane naming to reduce the influence of biases on hurricane risk assessments and to motivate optimal preparedness. For media practitioners, the pervasive media practice of giving gendered descriptions of hurricanes should prompt a reconsideration of the use of “he” or “she” when communicating about hurricanes. Finally, making members of the general public aware of the impact of gender biases on subjective risk perceptions may improve preparedness in the face of the next Hurricane Fay or Laura.
More broadly, our findings highlight the importance of understanding the way that category labels may influence responses to natural hazards and other events. When hurricanes and other such events are tagged with specific yet arbitrary labels used for other categories (men/women, animals, flora), one may expect human responses to be influenced by the mental representations associated with those categories. Those representations may then influence subjective risk assessments or indeed any assessment relevant to the mental representation. Thus, a storm named for a flower may seem less threatening than one named for a raptor. Our findings highlight the need to reexamine the practice of assigning arbitrary names to natural hazards in an effort to facilitate communication.
OK … Let’s stop here. No. Giving hurricanes names has been done since 1950. It’s a convenient way for the public to relate to and recognize a storm. Any other methodology will be just stupid and defeat the purpose of coming up with a name – something the public can identify with and prepare for.
If anybody is going to take this seriously – a study of nitwit college students – they’re as dumb as the kids themselves.
H/T: The Daily Wire