Men dump chivalry to flee sinking ships

London, April 15: Titanic, it seems, was an exception. Men dump chivalry that places women and children first and flee sinking ships to try to save themselves, says a new study.

A new analysis of 18 maritime disasters from 1852 to 2011 by economists Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixon of Uppsala University, Sweden, shows 15,000 people lost their lives. Only 17.8 percent of the women survived versus 34.5 percent of the men.

Of the Titanic’s passengers, 70 percent of the women were saved as against just 20 percent of the men. The idea of saving women and children first has been described as the unwritten law of the sea, the Daily Mail reports.

“The Titanic disaster has generated immense public and scholarly interest, and as one of the most extensively covered events in history obtained an almost mythological status,” say the researchers.

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

The White Star Liner RMS Titanic, built by Harland & Wolff in Belfast, February 4, 1912, sank on April 15, 1912 off the coast of New Foundland. The men stood back from the lifeboats, allowing women and children to board them.