what is the conditional probability of being struck by lightning? Part 3
Posted by Laura McLay on June 25, 2012
More than 80% of lightning victims are male. Be a force of nature by knowing your risk, taking action and being an example
This suggests that the conditional probability of being struck by lightning depends on your gender. You might think that the conditional probability of being struck by lightning for a man is four times higher than four a woman. Not so fast.
In the NPR article, Susan Buchanan, a spokeswoman from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offered four explanations for why. They are quoted below with some minor changes from me. The first two explanations would affect the prior probability of being exposed to a thunderstorm:
1. Men are more likely to be outside.
2. More are more likely to have jobs that require them to work outside.
The second two would affect the conditional probability of being struck by lightning given one’s gender and that he/she is in a thunderstorm.
3. Men take more risks than women. “If you look at the percentage of men who take part in high risk sports that might give you an idea,” said Buchanan. Therefore, a man would be less likely to go inside during a thunderstorm.
4. Men don’t want to be seen as “wimps.” This theory, she said, was backed up by talking to the Boy Scouts who said no one wants to be the one to say it’s time to go inside.
Putting this together:
1 < [Conditional probability of being struck by lightning given that one is a man and is in a thunderstorm] / [Conditional probability of being struck by lightning given that one is a women and is in a thunderstorm] < 4.
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