Friday, April 09, 2004

The Maiden Name Debate

What's changed since the 1970s?

In a mundane way, having the same name as your children is easier. And then, of course, the beauty of the contemporary name change is that you don't have to formally decide. You can keep your name professionally and socially, change your name for the purposes of school lists, or airline tickets, or your husband's presidential run—in short, you can maintain an extremely confusing relation to your own name (or names).

According to a recent study by Harvard economics professor Claudia Goldin, based on Massachusetts birth records, the number of college-educated women in their 30s keeping their name has dropped from 23 percent in 1990 to 17 percent in 2000.

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