For a while it was a popular trend for women to keep their maiden names following a walk down the aisle. I mean, can we really blame Maria Shriver for not wanting to be a Schwarzenegger when Shriver takes up so much less space on book jackets and charity documents? Or Drew Barrymore’s character in “The Wedding Singer” for not really wanting to be known as Julia Guglia after marrying Glenn?
The phenomenon of women not taking the last name of their new husbands actually peaked in the ‘90s, when close to 23 percent of women strayed from tradition. But the tides have turned according to a 35-year-study published in 2009 in the journal Social Behavior and Personality. The research showed only about 18 percent of women elected to keep their names in the 2000s.
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Wall Street Journal blogger Sue Shellenbarger pointed out that well-educated women in high-earning occupations are significantly more likely to keep their maiden names and raised some thought-provoking questions, like: How have you handled this decision in your marriage? What kind of reactions to your decision have you received from other people? Has keeping your maiden name or changing your name been a hassle for you?
According to the 2010 study, “Names: A Journal of Onomastics,” women who married when they were 35 to 39 years old were 6.4 times more likely to keep their names than women who married between the ages of 20 and 24.
“The Name Change Dilemma” certainly seems to be a hot topic. Since Sue Shellenbarger posted her blog on May 8 over 200 people have commented with their thoughts and frustrations.
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