Men 'likelier to survive maritime disasters'
London, July 31(ANI): The policy of women and children first on the Titanic led to 70 per cent of these groups being saved, compared with just 20 per cent of the men, but such selfless courage of these men is an exception.
Contrary to popular perception, a new study has revealed that men - including crew - are much more likely to survive maritime disaster than women and children.
Swedish researchers studied 16 sinkings that have occurred since the 1850s involving around 15,000 passengers and crew.
"By investigating a much larger sample of maritime disasters than has previously been done, we show that the survival rate of women is, on average, only about half that of men," the Daily Mail quoted the Uppsala University team as writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
They also noted that crew members have a higher survival rate than passengers and children appear to have the lowest survival rate.
"Most notably, it seems as if it is the policy of the captain, rather than the moral sentiments of men, that determines whether women get preferential treatment," the researchers said.
"In the evacuation of the Titanic, the captain ordered 'women and children first' and officers were reported to have shot at men who disobeyed the order."
Women fared particularly badly on ships, which had British captains and passengers and crew that were predominately from Britain.
"This contrasts with the notion of British men being more gallant," said the researchers.
They added that the survival of women has improved in recent years, possibly because of the rise in feminism and the advent of less restrictive clothing.
"It seems evident that the sinking of the Titanic was exceptional in many dimensions. Taken together, our findings show that human behaviour in life-and-death situations is best captured by the expression 'every man for himself,'" they concluded. (ANI)
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