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Women and children first or Every man for himself

September 12, 2012

Tragic events show us how we behave under extreme circumstances, when people’s lives are at stake. A good century ago most ships did not have enough life boats for all the passengers, that is why the drill “Women and children first!” became a protocol in life threatening events.

Now imagine the surprise of researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden, when they discovered, that out of 15,000 people on board, the captain, crew and male passengers were more likely to survive maritime disasters. They came to this conclusion after analysing 18 shipwrecks, in the period from 1852 to 2011, including Titanic and Lusitania.

This research suggests, in reality, while abandoning the ship, it is every man for himself. Taking care for the most vulnerable individuals has been a moral imperative throughout history. Let us hope, there are enough heroes and heroines around, who will navigate through future disasters.

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From → Zeitgeist

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