© Olga Vladimirova, ShutterstockWill she be Mrs. HisLastName?
As a girl, Andrea Grimes assumed that she would take her husband's last name when she grew up and got married. But at 27 and newly engaged, the Dallas journalist and feminist blogger now has no interest in switching her surname.
But not everyone has caught up: Both Grimes' mother and her fiancé's stepmother have already referred to her with her fiancé's last name. Those assumptions aren't surprising, given that decades after the feminist revolution, most women still take their husband's last name upon marriage. While no national statistics exist, some recent studies suggest that women keeping their own name is actually becoming less popular. And a recent nationally representative survey found that half of Americans support women being legally required to take their husband's name upon marriage. These traditional attitudes persist even as divorce, remarriage, gay marriage and blended families make naming more complex.
"It's not unlike other sorts of signals of traditionalism," said study researcher Brian Powell, who along with his colleagues reported the results of that survey in the journal Gender and Society
in April 2011.
"Wedding services today still have so many markings of the traditional gender divide,
" Powell, a sociologist at Indiana University, Bloomington, told LiveScience. "The symbolic aspects of gender are still very powerful."