Research Project

Paige Tetens, Philosophy & Political Science

Advisor: Kevin Rhiney, Geography

Hazard events like hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes amplify already-existing vulnerabilities such as socioeconomic status, physical mobility, and geographic location. I contend that the violence that people suffer in natural disaster events is the result of such factors. My research explores how gender, in particular, functions as one of these vulnerabilities. Specifically, I identify why women are often more vulnerable than men using two case studies: the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast, and the effects of typhoons and extreme floods in South Asia. These cases occur in two very different parts of the world and demonstrate that vulnerability to hazard events exists regardless of location. Through thoughtful and sensitive public policy and social action, policymakers and citizen groups can prevent the worst effects of natural disasters and minimize their disparate impact on vulnerable populations.