Falling for Familiar Narratives

The New York TimesWashington Post, and Time contribute to a week of spectacularly bad social science reporting.


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If you were paying attention to the news earlier this month, you might have seen stories about a new study claiming that hurricanes with female names cause more deaths than hurricanes with male names. The researchers speculated that people underestimate the strength of female-name storms and don’t take proper precautions because they associate femininity with weakness. People of the Internet were quick to cite the findings as an example of sexism. Ironically, most of the headlines reporting the story played to the same stereotypes that are supposedly behind the hurricane deaths. “No fury like a woman storm,” reportedNew Statesman. CNN, for whatever reason, chose to infantilize the storms, calling them “girl hurricanes.”

Click here to read the article at Slate.com.