Originally published 01/11/2013
It’s official; newspapers, TV, radio, and online news reports all announced it; male chivalry is nothing but a myth. Two Swedish economists, Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixson, exposed the reality of male selfishness in their study, “Every Man for Himself, Gender, Norms, and Survival in Maritime Disasters”, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The authors claimed to have studied three centuries of shipwrecks, culling statistical data and quantitative research in the process. Their conclusions: men, utilizing their generally superior strength, selfishly disregard the plight of the women and children in order to save themselves. They point to the statistical survival rates of women and children in the shipwrecks included in their work. The results are very discouraging for women and children and completely destroy the concept of the chivalrous male. Rather than “women and children first,” the prevailing sentiment in such disasters is truly, “every man for himself,” with the emphasis on men.
Originally published 01/10/2013
Ron Briley: Review of Robert O. Self's "All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy Since the 1960s" (Hill and Wang, 2012)
Ron Briley reviews books for the History News Network and is a history teacher and an assistant headmaster at Sandia Preparatory School, Albuquerque, New Mexico.