A lot rides on a word: ‘attack or bite’?

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What’s in a word: attack or bite? 

When someone gets bitten by a snake we don’t report a snake attack. 

Though the average yearly number of snake bites in Australia is 3000 and the average yearly number of shark bites in Australia is 15, why do we frame it one way for sharks and another for snakes?

Is it all part of a ploy politicians use to get your vote?

Or the way the media entices you to react to a story?

In his new book FLAWS:  Dr Chris Pepin-Neff provides fascinating insight into the way that politicians and policy makers frame certain issues to stoke the public’s fear, anger and anxiety.  Conversely, when people talk about their understanding and even pride in sharks as part of their countries natural environment, overwhelmingly shark bites were identified as ‘incidents,’ or the reality of people coming into contact with the natural world. 

When sharks, like snakes are thought of as part of nature, everyone wins. 

Dr Pepin-Neff asks you to join him and the academic literature in referring to all incidents that involve human-shark interactions based on their outcomes: sightings, encounters, shark bites and fatal shark bites.  

Please sign to add your support for the media and politicians to stop framing these arguments around your emotions for political gain.