Saturday, July 05, 2014

Female Hurricanes: Deadlier?

Female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes 

Kiju Jung et al. 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 June 2014, Pages 8782–8787 

Abstract: 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.


Anonymous said...

Many people have poked many holes in this study. Jeremy Freese of Northwestern sociology has written the most at poking holes in this study. The main problem is that the effects sizes are implausibly large (and would have to be to get p<.05 given the low n). There are various other issues such as coding name gender continuously (mostly as an excuse to include the all female name mid 20th c period), an implausible interaction term specification, and heteroskedacticity that once corrected through a quadratic makes the headline effect disappear.

Jack 45 said...

There's a reason many researchers consider PNAS and even Nature and Science to be "tabloid" journals, that end up publishing a ton of Type-I error studies ("Look Ma!" papers)