A wife taking her husband’s name is pretty much the essence of traditional marriage. But an increasing number of women, especially young women, are choosing to keep their own last names when they are married, according to a study by Facebook.
The social networking site took the names of women whose relationship statuses were set as “Married” and compared these names with the names of their husbands. Overall, about a third of women are now choosing to keep their last names when they marry. Researchers found that about 38 percent of women in their 20s took their husband’s name, while 26 percent of women in their 30s did. Only 12 percent of women in their 60s kept their own name.
Some believe that this shift is a sign young women are making a feminist statement with their names, but a lot of it has to do with a generally wider societal acceptance of women keeping their names. A name can mean a lot to people, and some women just aren’t willing to let this aspect of their identities go just because they’ve gotten married. One of the biggest arguments for a woman taking her husband’s name is to avoid confusion for children later on, which I totally get. But this issue kind of hits home for me: I am one of three girls in my family and my dad’s only brother has no children, so the Odell name stops here. If I have children, there is a chance that I would want at least some of them to carry on my last name. I am proud of my name and my family, so I identify closely with being an Odell. Although I’ve always imagined myself taking on my husband’s name, a large part of me questions whether or not I will actually want to if I am faced with the decision.
[Photo of bride and groom via Shutterstock]