Gender, norms and survival in maritime disasters

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by SheetWise, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. SheetWise
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Phoenix

    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    ABSTRACT

    It’s a widespread notion that women and children are saved first in maritime disasters. The systematic evidence of this comes primarily from the sinking of RMS Titanic. By analyzing individual level data from MS Estonia – one of the largest maritime disaster in the Northern hemisphere since World War II – a different picture emerges. Estonia sunk in the Baltic Sea with 137 survivors and 852 casualties. Despite equal gender rates on Estonia, 111 men, but only 26 women survived. This striking observation, as well as econometric analyses of survival probabilities, shows that the behavior among passengers and crew was clearly inconsistent with the norm that women should be saved before men. We show that the survival patterns from several maritime disasters, including Titanic, can be explained by the behavior of the captain. Women have a survival advantage only when the captain orders that women should be given priority and threatens disobedience with violence. Otherwise women will have lower survival chances.

    Read the entire paper ...
     
  2. erik818
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Sweden

    erik818 Senior Member

    Estonia sank quickly at night in cold waters during an autumn storm in the gulf of Finland. According to Wikipedia, the oncoming disaster was obvious at about 01.15. The ship quickly developed a list. Mayday was sent at 01.24 and all radio communication ceased at 01.30 when the list was about 80 degrees. In order to be saved you first needed to quickly get off the boat into the chilly waters and then onto a life raft. People sleeping in the cabins had poor chances to get off the boat, whereas people spending the night in the sky bar were better off. I don't believe there was any time or possibility for an orderly evacuation with "women and children first".

    It's hardly sensational that men in general have better chances to survive i cold water than women. I don't understand how norms can change this.

    I read the paper that is from late 2011. The first sentence after the header sais "First draft, please don't quote" (which I just did).

    In order to prove a point the authors need enough time for an orderly evacuation so they stretch the time by starting at the first weird noises and stopping when the ship sank. This way they get 1 hour instead of 10 -15 minutes. The data that the authors use to prove their point has not been cleared from all the factors that favoured men without involving norms.

    In my opion the paper reflects the need to write a paper to earn a degree more than the need to shed light on behaviour during the MS Estonia disaster.

    Erik
     
  3. SheetWise
    Joined: Jul 2004
    Posts: 279
    Likes: 54, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 658
    Location: Phoenix

    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    Yes -- that and to promote a sexist agenda. I was particularly offended by the assumption in the abstract "Women have a survival advantage only when the captain orders that women should be given priority and threatens disobedience with violence." What?
     
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