Female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes

Kiju Jung, Sharon Shavitt, Madhu Viswanathan, Joseph M. Hilbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8782-8787
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
StatePublished - 2014


  • Bounded rationality
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Implicit bias
  • Natural hazard communication
  • Risk perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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