The Weird Things Weather Makes Us Do


EXCERPT: We all know that sunny days make us happy -- but did you know that they also make us gamble? And that warm weather leads to both less sexual activity and higher incidents of depression? Weather affects human behavior in stronger, stranger ways that we realize, and this infographic from GB Energy Supply lays out some of the strangest...
I am much better moodwise on cool autumn days in the 50's. Heat makes me irritable and actually ups the crime rate and domestic incidents. That's why living in Texas was not an option for me. The humidity was depressing to me and sapped me of my energy and ambition. I wonder if there is a correlation between cities with higher crime rates and their high temps?
(Jul 28, 2016 06:17 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: I wonder if there is a correlation between cities with higher crime rates and their high temps?

New Orleans, Birmingham, Atlanta, and Baton Rouge have been top-rated at times in the past. But it's usually a mix of cooler and moderate cities sharing the spotlight, including Detroit.

Overall, the south does seem have a higher crime rate. Although additional factors are added besides just the heat.

The summer months have been linked to crime waves in America, as the balmy weather encourages young people to hit the streets. Recently, an empirical study found that extreme temperatures do in fact lead to violence, speculating that hot temperatures made people more aggressive. In the South, people are coping with hot temperatures, extreme poverty, and a so-called culture of honor. Maybe it shouldn't be that surprising that it's more violent than the rest of the country.

Honor was reinforced by slavery. Slavery by its nature dishonors one group and contrives to give all honor to another. In the South, race helped turn the distinction between master and slave into an absolute divide, perpetuating whites' belief that they were people of honor. And since slavery could be maintained only by the daily exercise of brute force, slave owners became very sensitive to the slightest threat to their superiority, a touchiness that expanded from plantation fields to all areas of their lives, Professor Lane said. [...] The cult of honor was gradually transmuted into African-American slave society, scholars now believe, as slaves and their emancipated descendants found themselves outside the law in the South, with sheriffs, judges and juries all controlled by whites. ''For blacks in the South, there was no alternative to settling disputes personally and physically,'' said Professor Lane.

The South in the 20th century has become more like the rest of the nation, as it has become more urban and industrial. Waves of whites flocking from the cold North to the Sun Belt states and the great migration of blacks going the other way also have made the regions more similar. But the concern with honor persists, especially in smaller cities and rural areas, said Richard Nisbett, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. In analyzing homicide data for whites, Professor Nisbett found there was no difference in murder rates between white males in the largest cities in the South and the rest of the country. But in medium-sized cities, with populations between 50,000 and 200,000, Southern white males commit murder at a rate twice that of their counterparts in the rest of the nation, he said. In small cities, with populations from 10,000 to 50,000, the ratio is 3 to 1 and in rural areas it is 4 to 1. The excess murder in the South, he said, comes from crimes ''where you could plausibly say an insult had been involved.''

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