The belief that women and children are first to be saved when ships sink is largely a myth, a new study suggests.
Analysis of survivors from 18 maritime disasters shows women “have a distinct survival disadvantage”, say researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden.
The report says captains and crew have a significantly higher survival rate.
The study covered sea disasters spanning three centuries, involving more than 15,000 people. The authors say data from 16 of the ships had never been analysed in this way before.
Or maybe chivalry was dead and is now alive:
The analysis showed that the gender gap in death rates has narrowed in disasters since World War I. The authors say this is connected with women’s generally higher status in modern society.
They also point out that in more recent disasters people show altruism to more vulnerable people generally, such as those with disabilities.
This fits with my perception that in the past people were kind of jerks.