Which scares you more: Hurricane Victor or Hurricane Victoria? People are slightly less likely to flee an oncoming storm with a feminine name than a masculine one, a new study finds.

But here is Victoria’s secret: Hurricanes with feminine names turn out to be deadlier in the United States than their more macho-sounding counterparts, probably because their monikers make people underestimate their danger, the researchers conclude.

In fact, the two deadliest storms to make landfall in the U.S. since 1979, when male names were introduced, were named Katrina and Sandy.

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The study, which didn’t involve any experts in meteorology or disaster science, was published Monday in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Atlantic hurricane season started Sunday.

SEE ALSO: Full List of 2014 Atlantic Storm Names

In six different experiments, more than 1,000 test subjects told behavioral scientists at the University of Ilinois in Champaign that they were slightly more likely to evacuate from an oncoming storm named Christopher than Christina, Victor than Victoria and Alexander than Alexandra because.

Participants reportedly found female names less frightening.


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Study: People Less Intimidated by Hurricanes with Feminine Names  was originally published on

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