Women Changing Name After Marriage: A Modern Perspective

,

 / 

A recent Pew survey reveals changing trends in the practice of women changing name after marriage. This cultural shift, rooted in historical legal norms, has been evolving, particularly among younger generations and highly educated women.

Breaking Traditions: Women Changing Name After Marriage

Michelle Lin, a 28-year-old New Yorker engaged to be married, represents a growing cohort of women who choose to retain their maiden names.

She values her name as an integral part of her identity, a connection to her family heritage, and an emblem of her academic accomplishments. This sentiment resonates with many young women, who are increasingly opting to preserve their names in marriage.

Pew Research Center’s survey encompassed over 2,400 married individuals and 955 unmarried respondents, shedding light on changing perspectives regarding marital name changes. The data underscores that men predominantly maintain their last names (92%), while only 5% opt to change, and less than 1% hyphenate their names with their spouses’.

For women, there is more diversity in choices. Approximately 80% of married women in opposite-sex relationships adopted their husband’s last names, whereas 14% retained their own, and 5% embraced hyphenation. Age and education emerge as influential factors. Older women are more inclined to adopt their husband’s name (9% among those aged 50 and above), while a significant 20% of women aged 18 to 49 choose to retain their names. Notably, 26% of women with postgraduate degrees maintain their maiden names.

Unmarried women also expressed their perspectives, with only 33% indicating a willingness to take their partner’s name, 23% opting to keep their own, 17% favoring hyphenation, and 24% remaining undecided. Melanie Mayer, 27, from New York City, embodies the ambivalence surrounding this decision, acknowledging the tradition’s patriarchal origins while appreciating the concept of a family sharing the same last name, irrespective of gender.

This shifting landscape reflects a broader cultural transformation as women gain social power and independence. Younger generations are increasingly rejecting the notion of name change as a symbol of subservience, embracing their individual identities and autonomy.

Catherine Allgor, president of the Massachusetts Historical Society, traces the tradition of women adopting their husband’s names back to the legal concept of coverture, imported from England. This archaic law stripped women of legal identity upon marriage, leading to their absorption into their husbands’ identities. Although coverture has been eroded over time, remnants of its influence persisted.

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

Study Reveals the Complex Relationship Between Calorie Restriction and Longevity

For years, scientists have speculated that consuming fewer calories might help people live longer. A recent study has shed new light on this topic, suggesting that the relationship between calorie restriction and longevity is more complex than previously thought.

“We’ve known for nearly 100 years that calorie restriction can extend healthy lifespan in a variety of laboratory animals,” stated one researcher last year to CNN.

However, the new study seems to indicate a more intricate relationship between calorie restriction and living to a ripe old age.

“There are many reasons why caloric restriction may extend human lifespans, and the topic is still being studied,” explained Waylon Hastings, lead author of the study and postdoctoral researcher. “One primary mechanism through which life is extended relates t

Up Next

Exercise Cuts Heart Disease Risk by Lowering Stress, Study Finds

New research indicates that physical activity lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, in part by reducing stress-related signaling in the brain. The study, led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that people with stress-related conditions such as depression experienced the most cardiovascular benefits from physical activity.

To assess the mechanisms underlying the psychological and cardiovascular disease benefits of physical activity, Ahmed Tawakol, an investigator and cardiologist in the Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his colleagues analyzed medical records and other information of 50,359 participants from the Mass General Brigham Biobank who completed a physical activity survey.

A subset of 774 participants also underw

Up Next

Lack of Sleep Linked to Rising Cases of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Warns Expert

In a recent revelation, lack of adequate sleep has been associated with a concerning rise in cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to insights shared by medical experts. As sleep deprivation continues to plague a significant portion of the population, the implications on public health are becoming increasingly alarming.

More than a third of adults in the United States fail to attain the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night, a trend that has sparked growing concerns among healthcare professionals. The scarcity of shuteye, it turns out, can have profound effects beyond daytime fatigue and drowsiness.

What is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

According to Ibrahim Hanouneh, a gastroenterologist with

Up Next

Study Explores Impact of Residential Green Space on Childhood Mental Health

A recent study published in JAMA Network Open investigates the relationship between residential green space and externalizing and internalizing symptoms in children. Conducted in the United States, the study aims to identify potential factors that can mitigate risks associated with childhood mental health disorders.

According to the study, up to 40% of children in the US may meet the criteria for mental disorders by adulthood, with an increased prevalence of externalizing (e.g., rule-breaking and aggression) and internalizing (e.g., depression and anxiety) symptoms.

Researchers suggest that environmental factors, such as green spa

Up Next

Study Links Volatile Work Hours to Burnout and Health Issues

A recent study conducted by NYU Social Work professor Wen-Jui Han has shed light on the detrimental effects of volatile work hours on both physical and mental health. The research, which analyzed data spanning over 30 years, found a significant correlation between irregular work hours and increased health concerns.

The study, which examined the work schedules and sleep patterns of over 7,000 Americans, revealed that individuals working rotating shifts were more prone to health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. The primary factor contributing to these issues was identified as a disruption in sleep patterns caused by inconsistent work schedules.

Jamaica Shiers, a representative from Path Behavioral Health in Salt Lake City, emphasized the prevalence of burnout among adults, attributing it to the pressure to maintain peak performance at al

Up Next

New Study Suggests Balanced Diet Better Than Vegetarian Diet for Brain Health

In a groundbreaking study published in Nature Mental Health, researchers have shed light on the relationship between dietary patterns and brain health. The study suggests that a balanced diet, comprising various food types, may be superior to a vegetarian diet in supporting mental well-being and cognitive function.

The research, which analyzed data from nearly 182,000 participants, focused on four main dietary patterns: starch-free/reduced starch, vegetarian, high-protein/low-fiber, and balanced diet. Participants’ food preferences were examined in categories such as fruits, vegetables, starches, protein, and snacks.

Up Next

Optometrists Share Expert Tips to Prevent Eye Sunburn as Summer Approaches

As we gear up for the longer and sunnier days of summer, it’s essential to protect our eyes from potential harm caused by UV rays. Optometrists have shared expert advice on how to prevent eye sunburn and what to do if you experience it.

Eye sunburn, also known as photokeratitis, occurs when the sun’s UV rays damage the cornea and conjunctiva, leading to symptoms like pain, redness, sensitivity to light, and blurry vision. While discomforting, these symptoms typically resolve within 24 hours as the cornea heals.

Moreover, prolonged exposure to UV rays can also damage the retina, particularly if one stares directly at the sun. This damage, known as solar retinopathy, can cause distorted vision or even vision loss.

Unfortunately, retinal damage is often permanent due to the lack of pain receptors in the ret