This is the most controversial post I have ever written in ten years of blogging.
First of all, if you were a man, you were outta luck. Yes, it was indeed "women and children first. And third class men were twice as likely to survive as second class men. Yes, class is a far weaker variable in determining survival rate than sex or age.
Indeed, most of the variance in first class vs. The reason for this is simple: Because the survival rate for women was far greater than the survival rate for men, we would thus expect a much higher survival rate for first class passengers as a whole than for third class passengers as a whole.
Although this analysis is incandescently obvious, it never seems to show up in mass media treatments of the Titanic disaster.
And sex and age differences aside, why would anyone be surprised that passengers in steerage would have a lower survival rate than passengers topside close to the boat deck?
For the findings of Lord Mersey's Enquiry regarding the survival rate for third class passengers, see below under Lord Mersey's Report. The table to the right, Actual survival rates by sex, age, and class compared to expected survival rates based on sex and age alone, clarifies the variance in survival rates associated with but not necessarily caused by class.
If sex and age were the only variables determining probability of survival, we would expect women in each class to have a Applying these percentages to the actual number of women, children, and men in each class, we compute the expected number of survivors. We then compute how that number varies from the actual number of survivors for that sex, age, and class category.
This method shows that the expected overall survival rate for first class passengers was It also shows that the actual survival rate was The more primitive approach -- taken by most writers on this subject -- is to divide the first-class overall survival rate The folly of this approach is obvious.
The author rambled on for several pages in an futile attempt to debunk what he called the "myth" of male heroism in the Titanic disaster. Since he had no factual basis for his beliefs, the effect was amazingly bad.
For the source of some of the logical errors critiqued above, see articles on the Ecological Fallacy and Simpson's Paradoxboth of which afflict popular analyses of quantitative data to an appalling degree.
If you are interested in doing some survival analysis at the individual passenger level, see the Kaggle Titanic competition. If I were doing it I would probably use a Gradient Boosting Machine solution, but it's way down my list of things to do.
If you are interested, try it. Finally, please note that comparing the absolute number of survivors in various categories does not address the likelihood of survival for passengers in any given category.
Thus, the following statements are all true: There were just a lot more children in third class. Again, there were a lot more men on board than women.
Ridiculous observations, of course, but people actually say things like this.
They do not address the central question of whether women and children received preferential treatment. As the numbers given above show, they unquestionably did.
His Majesty's Stationery Office, Lord Mersey's report is available in major libraries in the United States and elsewhere. The casualty figures appear on page 42 of the report. However, the "Titanic, Loss of the" article in the 13th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, London,also gives the casualty figures and is easier to find.
To answer a recurring question: One possible variance from the figures in Lord Mersey's report has been called to our attention. This concerns the loss of one child in first class, Miss Helen Lorraine Allison. For more information, see Encyclopaedia Titanica.An essay or paper on The Differences Between Women and Men.
There's a very fine line when comparing the two sexes in this world, male and female.
Both these sexes are so similar, yet they are both vastly different from one another. Many intriguing questions are brought up when dealing with the differences between the two sexes.
In men and women, there exist. Women, men and the whole damn thing Call it the Harvey Weinstein Effect: the wave of white-hot anger about predatory men that’s smashing reputations around the globe. Biological Differences Between Men and Women With Respect to Physical Aggression and Social Stability.
Four experiments show that gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations may be explained by differential treatment of men and women when they attempt to negotiate. From the fiery intellectual provocateur— and one of our most fearless advocates of gender equality—a brilliant, urgent essay collection that both celebrates modern feminism and challenges us to build an alliance of strong women and strong men.
Rebecca Solnit, a TomDispatch regular, is the author of 17 books, including an expanded hardcover version of her paperback indie bestseller Men Explain Things to Me and a newly released anthology of her essays about places from Detroit to Kyoto to the Arctic, .