More than 80 per cent of Australian women still take their husband’s name after marriage – and 96 per cent of children take their father’s name.
The data is the result of several years’ research by Adelaide’s Flinders University, which looked at the age-old tradition that dates back to a time when women were considered property being traded at marriage.
“It has a very long history and it has to do with inheritance and property and dating back to when women were property or as good as, and you are actually taken into the husband’s family and therefore you take his name,” Associate Professor Yvonne Corcoran-Nantes, who headed up the research, told 891 ABC Adelaide.
She added that though the vast majority of Australian brides were happy to take their husband’s names, the husbands weren’t quite so keen on taking their wives’ names.
“People don’t get too fussed when women take a man’s surname on at marriage, which over 80 per cent of women still do, but get quite uppity if a woman doesn’t want to take a man’s name on,” she said.
“Men’s Health, I think in 2013, did a survey on Monkey Poll, quite a big one actually, and what was quite surprising, over 96 per cent of the men who answered that poll, wouldn’t change their name to the woman’s, even if she asked him to do so,” added Associate Professor Corcoran-Nantes.
“It’s something that people actually feel quite passionate about and often your children’s name and sometimes, for a lot women, the name for the child or the name you take at marriage is a negotiated item in your relationship.”
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