Post # 1
I read an article today that quotes a 2009 study that found that in the 1990s, 23% of married women kept their maiden name, but in the 2000’s, only 18% of women did so. While the article also states that older brides and those in the professions, the arts, and in entertainment are more likely to do so, I didn’t see a lot as far as explanation WHY the overall rate is declining.
Since I’m not going to pay the $34 to read the original study, I’m wondering if any of the Bees have any insight? Any idea why brides today are less likely to keep their maiden name than the brides of the 1990s?
Here’s the article…and the research study.
Post # 3
Those are definitely interesting statistics. I’d love to hear other’s perspectives.
I am not keeping my maiden name. My FI is traditional and has made it clear that he expects the name change to take place fairly quickly. hmph.
Post # 4
I wonder if it’s partly the economy, since many people I know who kept their name did so for professional reasons. My one friend thought she was getting a job (and wanted to keep the name she had when she applied to it), but then didn’t. She changed her name while she was job hunting.
It could be so many things, it’s such a personal decision.
Post # 5
I’m not keeping mine… partly because I really don’t like my maiden name and because I want to be a Mrs. whatever and share that name with my children.
When I got divorced from my first husband I really, really didn’t want to take my maiden name back. I did so only because the name I had was incredibly rare and as he was getting married again, I didn’t want there to be two of us.
I bet some of it is that many of our moms didn’t change their names for whatever reason, so now the next generation is going more traditional.
Post # 6
I’m not keeping mine, but you know why? Because I am so sick of having two last names lol. My parents hyphenated their last names, and I cannot wait to only have 1 hah. I mean I love my last name because it’s unique, but at the same time….makes spelling out my name a hell of a lot easier! So while my mother kept hers, and I respect her for that, no way in heck I’m going to have 3 last names.
Post # 7
I think women are more likely now to keep their maiden name for professional reasons…BUT still change their name for legal ones. I think there’s less pressure to do either/or.
Therefore, while some may still go by their maiden name, legally it’s changed.
At least that will be the case with me.
I tried to convince FI to just add the Mc from my name to the front of his name, but he didn’t go for that one. I can’t imagine not having that though!
Post # 8
i would also be curious as to why. I wonder if there is a perception that career women are no longer penalized for marrying, so there’s not as much need to play down that aspect of their lives? Or, on a more pessimistic note, if not as many women are pursuing/having success in higher status careers.
I’m keeping my name. I’m in academia, and it is very, very common for women to keep their names upon marriage, in no small part because many of us have already published under them by the time we get married.
Post # 8
I am not keeping my maiden name, but I though more and more women were keeping their maiden name so this is surprising.
Post # 8
I have access to the study through my university databases.
It’s basically the same things mentioned already, looking at age, occupation, education, and religion. But their data, which I think is interesting and the article just calls it a “35 year study” was that they analysed New York Times wedding announcements. So they weren’t actually finding reasons or anything; they just found correlations between, say, women whose ceremonies had officiants of two faiths also changing their names or not.
Post # 9
@Amaryllis: Oh wow. Well that’s hardly a representative sample of the population at large!! Sheesh. That explains why the numbers were so high – I found them surprising.
Post # 10
I think it’s more of a swing back to traditional practices. I feel like I’ve read a longer article that talked about it awhile ago, maybe it was that one… but it seems like it was a very feminist statement at one point and now for many reasons, women don’t feel the same need to make that statement.
I think on one hand, it indicates that it’s a good thing that women have choices and that you can make either choice and still be for equal rights, but on the other hand, it’s the result of younger women not realizing how hard our predecessors fought to be able to earn a living and be treated as full citizens in the right of the law. Women feeling that all women’s choices (changing name, staying home with children) are valid and should be treated with respect is a great thing, but I think sometimes younger women today think that because they can go to college and work full-time, that all is equal in society.
Personally, I am not changing my name. It was never even an option, unless we were both hyphenating our names or something like that. But I also have a really great last name, so it’s not entirely about principles or politics. 😛
Post # 11
@mightywombat: Yea geez. NYT wedding ads are like $8 zillion per square inch.
Post # 12
I always thought that I would keep my maiden name. I have some professional works published under that name, however, DH really wanted myself and our future children to share last names. I eventually agreed.
Post # 13
I thought the trend was going the other way…more women keeping their maiden name. So odd. I will be taking my husband’s name and not keeping mine.
Post # 14
@MsJeep23: I hate studies like this. Seriously, it puts a bee in my bonnet. I would be super interested to see a rigorous study of name change practices over time, but not one that relies on the elite easterners who submit wedding announcements to the Times.
Edit:And this goes along with my general hatred of sloppy science reporting. I could seriously go on for hours about how misleading popular reporting about academic research is.