Lightning strikes and sex

Credit: Joe Ciciarelli/Unsplash

No, not that sex. Biological sex.

In the past eight years, an astounding 80 percent of those killed by lightning strikes have been men.

This astonishing statistic is from an article in Bustle, from 2014 – but it quickly stops being astonishing. It seems lightning preferred men because they were more likely to be engaged in outdoor activities. The most common activity being performed at the moment of a strike was fishing, and other activities included playing sports and going camping.

The reason the statistic stops being astonishing is that it banks on the great outdoors being safer for men than for women (notwithstanding lightning). It’s also not surprising at all that, according to one expert, men are less likely to believe they’re in danger when they actually are, so they bear the chance of being struck for longer. The women, who are indoors, don’t.

I’m not sure if it would make sense to probe the relationship between biological sex and lightning strikes any further, at least based on the Bustle article alone. But I’d love to read a Kurt Vonnegut story about how patriarchy has a built-in Malthusian mechanism that keeps the men in with the women.

Featured image credit: Joe Ciciarelli/Unsplash.

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