Shipwreck myth:Women and children first

Community Leader
Registered: 04-07-2008
Shipwreck myth:Women and children first
4
Tue, 07-31-2012 - 9:20am

I was reading this really interesting article about how most people assume that women and children are saved first during shipwreck disasters but in all reality, that isn't true. Health Day News says, "Women and children first? It's actually been more like women and children last, according to a new study of ship disasters going back to the 19th century."'Women and children first' is a myth and human behavior in life-and-death situations seems to be better described by 'every man for himself,'" said study co-author Oscar Erixson, a graduate student at Uppsala University, in Sweden." You can read more of the article HERE

Does this surprise you? Have you ever been part of any kind of disaster? What was it like-did people really think of the women, children, and handicapped or was it pretty much ever man for himself as the study suggests?

Karla
Community Leader
WALKING
EXERCISE and HEALTHY LIVING

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2001
Tue, 07-31-2012 - 12:57pm

Interesting article but I personally think it's kind of difficult to pin down hard statistics on something like that, because there are so many factors that can influence the outcome. I've been in situations where I've seen adults of both genders panic and flee while others struggled to assist.

i've never dealt with a ship disaster, but I was at school one day when a small fire broke out; we knew it wasn't a drill once you could see smoke in the hallways. The second grade class I was visiting had two handicapped children, one in a wheel chair and another who wore leg braces and used canes. The teacher's aid had stepped out a few minutes prior to the alarm, but the other children immediately went into protective mode, making certain those two had partners to help lead them out to safety. I was pretty impressed with how well they all had the drill down pat, especially at that young age.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2001
Tue, 07-31-2012 - 4:26pm

I think, on one of those many rehashes of Titanic that were on telly during teh anniversary, that I heard that, indeed, women and children first wasn't ship policy --- it was apparently only enforced by the behavior of a few of the ship's crew who used weapons to send some men packing. 

And in all he ship drills I've been in, NO-ONE said didly about who goes first. 

So I'd guess it all depends on the situation and the peope involved...



CL for "

Community Leader
Registered: 04-07-2008
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 10:16am

I was in a Walmart once when the fire alarms went off and an announcement came over the intercom to evacuate the store due to a bomb thread. Obviously the person making the announcement didn't think it through because the small stampede that occured as people were trying to rush out the doors was ridiculous. I had my blind FIL with me and me and my 13 year old grabbed him and got him out the doors fairly quickly. Thank God we had just come into the store and were near an exit when the announcement came because otherwise I'm not sure how I would have gotten him out. I was more worried about him being knocked down and trampled on than blown up. 

I think I witnessed the every man for himself thing in person!

Karla
Community Leader
WALKING
EXERCISE and HEALTHY LIVING

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2003
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 10:10pm

Interesting.   I've never been in a disaster like that but that makes me think of that cruise ship captain, was it in Italy?  He left the whole ship and went ashore in a raft by himself while it was going down!

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