Skip to comments.'Women and children first' a myth: study
Posted on 04/13/2012 3:05:52 PM PDT by WesternCulture
Scientists at Uppsala University have found that the widespread belief that women and children are saved first in maritime disasters is a myth, unless the men are threatened with physical violence like on the Titanic.
It is expected that the crew should rescue passengers, but our results show that captains and crew are more likely to survive than passengers, said Mikael Elinder at the Department of Economics, Uppsala University and at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) in a statement.
We also found that women and children were more inclined to die than men.
This, the scientists think, indicates that when disaster strikes it is very much every man for himself.
For the study, researchers Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixon analyzed a database containing information about passengers and crew from 18 of the most notable shipwrecks during the period 1852 to 2011, containing information about the fates of more than 15,000 people.
Elinder and Erixon found that that the survival rate of women was substantially lower than the survival rate of men.
Children had the lowest survival rate, while the highest survival rates were observed for crew and captains.
However, there is still a widespread popular belief that in a disaster, women and children will be saved first.
This, argue the scientists, is because the foundering of the Titanic, being the most researched shipwreck, has shaped our beliefs about what happens in maritime disasters, not in the least through popular culture.
And during the evacuation of the Titanic, the men stood back while women and children were given priority to board the lifeboats.
As a consequence, the survival rate of the women and children in this particular accident was much higher than that of the men.
The scientists questioned what made the Titanic so different.
One possible explanation is how the captain acts under the circumstances, according to the researchers.
On the Titanic, the captain ordered women and children to board the lifeboats first.
Men who disobeyed the order would be shot.
The scientists found that on the ships where the captain gave the order "women and children first", the difference in survival rates between men and women was lower.
But women survived to a higher extent than men only when this order was enforced by the threat of violence, the researchers found.
The evacuation of the Titanic was exceptional, but has spurred a long-lived myth that women and children will be saved first in disasters, said Elinder.
The three largest ethnic group of passengers aboard Titanic were Americans, Britons and Swedes.
Most of the Swedes traveled in third class, but in spite of this, a very large number of them survived - unlike most of the ship’s crew (that mostly came from the area of Southampton, England).
Perhaps we Scandinavians do better in cold waters, or what?
Look, when the ladies started pushing “equal rights”, “equal pay”, started dressing like a man, demanding participation in mens clubs,equal equal equal well equal this little ladies. You can get in the pack and fight for a lifeboat seat the equal way of doing it.
Kids and infirmed? different story.
I don’t believe this. It’s just more liberal feminist manhating crap memes.
Except - metrosexuals TODAY would definitely shove women and children out of the way to get out first.
But men? No. That’s one of the definitions of a man - and why feminists have such a hard time turning young women away from real men, even today.
Notice the study gives “survival rates,” that is not what the expression “women and children first” would refer too: first on a life raft, or first off the ship. It does not imply the expectation that they will be saved.
Generally, survival in desperate situations at sea are more a matter of experience and expertise, both of which are highest among crew and captains. It’s not just being the first on a life raft. It’s also surviving at sea until rescue.
There must be at least one crew member in each life boat......they’re very tasty.
I don’t think that those who survived were in the water, but high and dry in lifeboats.
It is worst for the single guys.
The married men probably went down smiling and waving.
“I dont think that those who survived were in the water, but high and dry in lifeboats.”
- You’re probably right.
Anyhow, it is remarkable that such a high rate of third class passengers of Swedish ancestry survived as they, to begin with, knew far less English than most other people on the ship.
I think it matters that we Scandinavians, by tradition and perhaps even by genetics, are more accustomed to cold weather and rough seas.
OK, that was funny.
give the DOCUMENTED maritime history, this article is a myth.
The fact is any merchant marine or seaman (other than those from countries with no women and children first maritime history ala italy) who survives at the expense of women and children might as well die afterwards due to shunning and peer pressure excomunication.
To take your chance in the thick of a rush, with firing all about,
Is nothing so bad when you’ve cover to ‘and, an’ leave an’ likin to shout;
But to stand an be still to the Birkenead drill is a damn tough bullet to chew,
An they done it, the Jollies - ‘Er Majestys Jollies - soldier an’ sailor too!
Their work was done when it ‘adnt begun; they was younger nor me an’ you;
Their choice it was plain between drownin’ in ‘eaps an’ bein’ mopped by the screw,
So they stood an’ was still to the Birken’ead drill, soldier an’ sailor too
It depends on the country. England had a tradition of women and children first. As we recently saw with that Italian liner, other countries may not. Does anyone believe that if a Muslim ship went down, the men would wait for the ladies to board the lifeboats?
I know some families of Americans who died on the Titanic, like Harry Elkins Widener, and they were basically upper class Easterners—British gentlemen in their thinking.
America was largely shaped by English thinking on these matters, but if a ship went down today, I doubt whether they would behave as gentlemanly as they did on the Titanic.
It seems women were far less likely to know how to swim 100 years ago than men. Neither my mom or my mother in law knows how to swim and they are only in their 70’s.
That won’t do much for survival rate on sinking boats...
- I guess most people who do research on survival rates and such things for profession are well aware that men, in many ways, are better physically equipped than women and children when it comes to surviving extreme temperatures, scarcity of food etc.
Journalists often misread or deliberately misinterpret scientific reports.
They spew this crap as if men were putting themselves before women and children(some might, most won’t)totally ignoring the fact that MEN were the ones holding the guns on the Titanic.
When the men are devout Christians, women and children are first. The Birkenhead manned by Scottish covenanting Christians went down and the men stayed on deck singing from the Psalter. They made an oath not to swim out to the lifeboats lest they capsize and the women and children perish. Many men were killed by sharks, but the women and children survived.
You and your little clique of misfits can wallow in your misandry, or whatever malady that happens to afflict you, the rest of us will continue to respect the sacrifice of those who choose to give their lives for others.
Many years ago my husband and I along with my mother and step father were involved in a flood in South Dakota. My husband and I survived, but my mother and step father were killed as they had to swim for their lives.
When it came to settle the insurance for them, I did not receive any of the money because the insurance company said that because he was a man my step father more than likely outlived my mother, and therefore only his family would receive the money. My mother was a strong swimmer so I know that of the two she would have survived longer, but that was their policy.
My Grandmother and son would have been on that ship, except for a last minute glitch.
They would not have been on first class.
And even if they did, modesty would have prevented their taking off those long skirts and petticoats which must have exerted serious drag in the water.
Just goes to show that the phrase, “There is no greater love than for a man to give his life for another” is an ideal in courage and love and has nothing to do with the average base man when confronted with his own impending demise.
No less an authority than Jesus Christ Himself said it, then He laid down His life voluntarily for many.
“I think it matters that we Scandinavians, by tradition and perhaps even by genetics, are more accustomed to cold weather and rough seas.”
I’d think that Scandinavians also knew more than others that in water that cold you literally have minutes; the rescue ships were too far away, and anyone that thought they’d do the “Jack thing” from the movie (clinging to a raft, with your body immersed) was completely ignorant of that.
I imagine many things are bolted down on a ship, but with plenty of time why didn’t they unbolt tables, doors, dressers, or anything else that could possibly float and toss them in the water so that people might at least have a chance of climbing up unto them and float until help came? Throw chest with blanket and clothes in the water so that floating they may be retrieved by those on the table’s, bunks etc. to rap up in and try to stay warmer until help arrives. Might be a long shot, but better than no shot at all.
“Many years ago my husband and I along with my mother and step father were involved in a flood in South Dakota. My husband and I survived, but my mother and step father were killed as they had to swim for their lives.”
- That truly is a terrible story. You honor the memory of your mother and step father by telling us about it.
Human life is fragile in all its beauty, but also the closest thing to God there is in His eternity.
Warm greetings from “cold” Scandinavia to where you live.
Sometimes, the vast Atlantic Ocean simply doesn’t exist..
Yes, life is fragil and never more fragil than during a disasteroua event like that.
Loved your "warm greetings from cold Scandinavia". You certainly live in a beautiful part of the world, and from a recent poll house some of the happiest people on earth.