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Why Most American women still say "I do" to name change after marriage

It is a very private issue to Change surname after marriage and was an established custom for several decades. A check released by the Pew Research Center on Thursday reveals that 79% of American women took their hubby's last name after marriage. Some women were more likely than others to keep their names. This was particularly true of youngish women — 20% of wedded women aged 18 to 49 say they kept their last name, compared to 9% of those 50 or older. Women with a postgraduate degree and liberal or Popular women were also far more likely to do so. Although there has been increased change in gender roles and what constitutes acceptable societal norms, still many American women adopt the tradition of taking their husband’s family name. The article delves into why the time-honored practice of changing marriage names is still in vogue today.

Why Most American women still say 'I do' to name change after marriage

Historical Context

This is because this tradition can find its origin in history and in the patriarchy of culture. An example is whereby a woman’s identity used to be associated with her marital status, and changing of a name indicated she moved from one to another family. The society’s norm has changed but we can still rely on historical precedent when it comes to naming change in modern societies. In 1855, suffragist Lucy Stone famously refused to take her hubby's last name, forging a stalwart new trail. But it took further than a century to come to a broader trend. For times, colorful countries didn't allow women to register to bounce or gain a motorist's license unless they took their hubby's surnames. Court rulings in the 1970s struck down these laws and a growing number of women and couples made less traditional choices about names when they married. Yet, as this new exploration shows, they remain a fairly small share of the public overall.

Cultural Significance

Besides, marriage is much more than simply a legal and emotional union; it is an important cultural institution with a really strong traditional meaning. Many perceive the act of assuming a spouse’s last name is a sign of togetherness, loyalty, and making of a new family name. Spouses share the same name which emphasizes that they are on this journey for one.

Cultural Significance

Legal and Practical Considerations

There are also many practical concerns behind the decision to adopt a new surname following marriage. It is therefore common for women to use name changes as they seek to simplify legal proceedings and deal with possible problems that might arise. The process is made easier by having the same surname when one shares a bank account, owns property together, and even legal papers with their spouses. This creates a feeling of unity within the family.

Continuation of Family Legacy

Other people take this step because they want to maintain the heritage of a particular family and continue it. The act of continuing the family name from generation to generation may be a very good incentive for many people and particularly when it comes to their ancestral linkage. To this end, the idea of changing married names is viewed as essential to maintaining traditional and ancestral identities.

Social Expectations and Norms

Individual choices are greatly influenced by social expectations and cultural norms. The need to fit in the stereotypical female identity and the societal demands make some people choose to have a new surname when they marry. Although society’s attitude is shifting, the heaviness of tradition and the need to remain within culturally defined expectations continues to affect most women's choices today.

Social Expectations and Norms

Personal Choice and Empowerment

However, it should be highlighted that although those historical and cultural aspects might contribute to influencing the latter decision whether to change or not, this remains a very personal decision to take. Nowadays, many women see marriage name change as an empowering action, not merely in compliance with tradition. Some women view changing of their names during marriage as a form of agency and self-determination in choosing their identity.
Hence, the cultural norm of wives adopting husbands’ surnames still exists in America for various reasons. The choice to assume a new surname in a marriage is woven into the broad fabric of American marital traditions and can be rooted in historical usage, cultural meaning, legal considerations, family legacy, social pressure, or even individual power. Attitudes towards these practices are changing day by day and the narratives associated with these enduring practices will change accordingly.