The study notes, “The anticipated severity of a hurricane with a masculine name (Victor) will be greater than that of a hurricane with a feminine name (Victoria). This expectation, in turn, will affect the protective actions that people take.”
The authors created a “masculinity/femininity index” to judge the relative danger of hurricanes and claimed that the more masculine a hurricane’s name sounded, the more seriously people took the risk. The opposite was true for the most feminine-sounding storms. The index is scaled one to 11, with one being “very masculine” and 11 being “very feminine.”
It predicts a death toll of 10.8 from a powerful hurricane with the most masculine-sounding name, but a toll of 58.7 from a hurricane of roughly the same intensity but with the most feminine-sounding name.