Kimberly Lawson in “Half of Americans Think Women Should Be Required by Law to Take Husband

The Sexist Belief That Won’t Die

Researchers have found that more than 70 percent of U.S. adults believe a woman should change her name, and approximately half felt that doing so should be required by law. A new study, published earlier this month in Gender Issues, seeks to find out why this belief is so persistent.

“The most common reason (approximately 50 percent of the cases) given by individuals who advocated women’s name change was the belief that women should prioritize their marriage and their family ahead of themselves,” Emily Fitzgibbons Shafer, a sociology professor at Portland State University, notes in her study.

Shafer was interested in understanding how people perceived women based on their last name choice, and whether keeping one’s maiden name could cause backlash.

KIMBERLY LAWSON in “Half of Americans Think Women Should Be Required by Law to Take Husband’s Name,” Broadly, January 17, 2017.