Attention brides: Trading the Miss for Mrs. may be romantic, but think twice before taking your husband’s name. It will harm your career, warn researchers.
According to a study, published in the current issue of Basic and Applied Social Psychology, women using their husbands’ last names are also judged as more dependent and less ambitious than women who keep their maiden names — but are also seen as more kind and caring.
More alarmingly, members of the Mrs. League earn approximately $1,500 less per month.
“But it’s very difficult to explain the income gap,” said researcher Dr. Marret Noordewier. “It can also be that women who take their husbands’ names earn less money because they’re different anyway.”
What about Angela Krasner? Though divorced and remarried, the German chancellor uses her first husband’s name, Merkel. And after a brief post-wedding attempt at remaining Hillary Rodham, Hillary is now known as Mrs. Clinton.
Women with less stature using their husbands’ last name don’t fare as well. According to psychologists at the Tilburg Institute for Behavioral Economics Research in the Netherlands, women who take their husband’s names, or use hyphenated names, are seen as less intelligent and less competent than women who keep their maiden names.
“Changing your name isn’t always negative,” Noordewier said. “But if people have limited information about you, this is how they’ll judge you.”
Armed with these findings, Noordewier’s team surveyed Dutch university students’ attitudes to name change and received a surprise: 81 per cent of male students wanted their future wives to change their names — and 83 per cent of female students planned to do so.