As you may recall, I've been back and forth on the whole name-change issue. After a few years of marriage, I did finally legally change my name, but I still use my maiden name professionally. As a writer, I felt that it was important for all of my clips to remain under a single name. Plus, I wasn't exactly 21 years old when I got hitched. I think that wanting to retain my name professionally had a lot to do with the fact that I supported myself for so many years. But OMG, this story from ABC News gave me a serious what-the-WHAT moment.
Here's the line that did it: "Researchers have suggested that women who change their name at marriage make nearly $400,000 less during their lifetimes than women who do not. They were judged by others as older, less educated and unmotivated compared to those who kept their own names -- even if they were the same age and background, according to a 2010 study in the journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology."
The story didn't dig any deeper into the 2010 study, so I'll have to do a little more research before I can form any firm conclusions. But right now, my gut says that there’s probably more of a correlative (rather than causal) connection between income and name changes. In other words, women who tend to make less money are more likely to change their names -- not women make less money because they change their names. But I have to confess, the part about the personal judgments bugged the crap out of me too. I don't think of women who change their names as being older, less motivated or less educated at all!
What do you guys think?
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