Researchers: Titanic was an exception, male chivalry on sinking ships is ‘a myth’

STOCKHOLM, Sweden – A hundred years after the Titanic sank, two Swedish researchers say when it comes to sinking ships, the concept of male chivalry is “a myth” and more men generally survive such disasters than women and children.

Economists Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixon of Uppsala University analyzed 18 of the world’s most famous maritime disasters from 1852 to 2011. They found that men actually have a distinct survival advantage. Of the 15,000 people who died in those accidents, only 17.8 per cent of the women survived versus 34.5 per cent of the men.

The 82-page report claims the Titanic was a rare exception because its captain threatened to shoot men unless they yielded to women.

Elinder said Thursday when it comes to sinking ships “it appears as if it is every man for himself.”