Two researchers from Sweden’s Uppsala University have recently released some findings of a rather interesting study that dispel popular beliefs dating back to the Titanic about the anatomy of shipwreck survival.
According to the study, titled “Every Man for Himself: Gender, Norms and Survival in Maritime Disasters“, researchers found that in the case of a maritime disaster the age-old ‘women and children first’ does not hold, and in reality is more like ‘every man for himself’. In fact, women and children have substantially lower chance of survival than men, particularly than that of the captain and crew, the study finds.
In order to come to this conclusion the study’s authors, economists Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixson, analyzed data based on 18 of the most notable shipwrecks during the period 1852 to 2011 with information on the fates of more than 15,000 people with one, well two, critical-yet-obvious exceptions; the RMS Titanic and RMS Lusitania. Why not include these? Simply put, the Titanic (and RMS Lusitania) disasters were exceptional.