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Study: Women, Children Not Most Likely to Survive Sinking Ship

Universal History Archive/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A sinking ship doesn’t exactly inspire nobility, a new study from Sweden observes.

Economists at Uppsala University have turned on its head the idea that women and children are attended to first by investigating 18 shipwrecks that occurred between 1852 to 2011.  Two of the most famous examples of sinking ships, Titanic and Lusitania, were also taken into account.

Other than the Titanic, where three times more women than men survived the disaster, the study finds that the captain, his crew and male passengers were generally saved more often than women and children.

In fact, crew members were 18.7 percent more likely to get out alive than everyone else on board.

Surprisingly, more women than men died on British ships where the orders of "women and children first" were given more than on vessels run by other countries.

Lead researcher Mikael Elinder said in a statement that when it's time to abandon a sinking ship, "it appears as if it's every man for himself."

The study involved 15,000 passengers of more than 30 nationalities that included information on the sex of the survivors.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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