These Are a Few Of Our Least-Favorite Things takes

These days, Americans are probably more afraid of tech stocks than of creepy fauna. Confining itself to more-traditional phobias, though, a recent Gallup poll found snakes outpacing other common fears. You’ll note that respondents were less apt to be afraid of most things in the current poll than in 1998. Might it be that the drop in crime has made Americans less timid across the board? Among fears not listed on the chart, flying continues to scare many folks (18 percent), though fewer than in 1998(20 percent). While mice can’t measure up to spiders, they frighten more people(20 percent) than dogs do. Women were more likely than men to fear nearly every item on Gallup’s list. Mice inspired the biggest gender gap (33 percent of women,6 percent of men). Before congratulating themselves, though, the lads should note that women were braver about the one item that has any real effect on longevity: While 11 percent of men fear a visit to the doctor, 8 percent of women do so.