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Do people judge hurricane risks in the context of gender-based expectations? We use more than six decades of death rates from US hurricanes to show that feminine-named hurricanes cause significantly more deaths than do masculine-named hurricanes. Laboratory experiments indicate that this is because hurricane names lead to gender-based expectations about severity and this, in turn, guides respondents’ preparedness to take protective action. This finding indicates an unfortunate and unintended consequence of the gendered naming of hurricanes, with important implications for policymakers, media practitioners, and the general public concerning hurricane communication and preparedness.

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Jung, Kiju et al. “Female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 111,24 (2014): 8782-7. doi:10.1073/pnas.1402786111

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