A new study finds that people are slightly less likely to flee an oncoming storm with a feminine name than a masculine one.
But hurricanes with feminine names turn out to be deadlier in the United States than their more macho sounding counterparts. Researchers conclude that it's probably because their names make people underestimate their danger.
The two deadliest storms to make landfall in the U.S. since 1979 were Katrina and Sandy.
The study was published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
More than 1,000 test subjects told behavioural scientists at the University of Illinois they were slightly more likely to evacuate from male-named storms than female ones.
In six different experiments, more than 1,000 test subjects told behavioural scientists at the University of Illinois in Champaign that they were slightly more likely to evacuate from an oncoming storm named Christopher than Christina, Victor than Victoria, Alexander than Alexandra and Danny than Kate. They found female names less frightening.
This year's hurricane names will be Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.<
Jung and Shavitt said one name jumps out at them for danger: Dolly. It's considered highly feminine.