Gender and Control in the 2001 World Trade Center Evacuation
Erica D. Kuligowski
Occupants in fire emergencies in buildings are presented with multiple pieces of information and environmental cues which produce varying levels of stress for the occupant. Occupants develop behavior response strategies to decrease their level of stress and engage in behaviors to carry out these strategies. The developed strategies are frequently influenced by cultural, social, and economic factors. Disaster and fire emergency literature show that gender may influence the behaviors that are performed in an emergency. In this paper, logistic regression models were used to test whether the gender relationships found in disaster and fire literature were relevant to the 2001 World Trade Center Evacuation. Gender was found to be a significant predictor of the types of behaviors that occupants performed before beginning evacuation movement; specifically finding that women were more likely than men to gather personal items and men were more likely than women to search for others before beginning evacuation movement. These findings speak to the sociology of gender and the sociology of disasters.