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Every man for himself: Gender, Norms and Survival in Maritime Disasters
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2012 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since the sinking of the Titanic, there has been a widespread belief that the social norm of ‘women and children first’ gives women a survival advantage over men in maritime disasters, and that captains and crew give priority to passengers. We analyze a database of 18 maritime disasters spanning three centuries, covering the fate of over 15,000 individuals of more than 30 nationalities. Our results provide a new picture of maritime disasters. Women have a distinct survival disadvantage compared to men. Captains and crew survive at a significantly higher rate than passengers. We also find that the captain has the power to enforce normative behavior, that the gender gap in survival rates has declined, that women have a larger disadvantage in British shipwrecks, and that there seems to be no association between duration of a disaster and the impact of social norms. Taken together, our findings show that behavior in life-and-death situation is best captured by the expression ‘Every man for himself’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2012. , 68 p.
Series
Working paper / Department of Economics, Uppsala University (Online), ISSN 1653-6975 ; 2012:8
Keyword [en]
Social norms, Disaster, Women and children first, Mortality, High stakes
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172527OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-172527DiVA: diva2:514872
Available from: 2012-04-11 Created: 2012-04-11 Last updated: 2012-04-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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Output format
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