PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — What’s in a name? According to a new study, the surname of a married woman changes how people perceive the power dynamic of the relationship.
The findings published in Sex Roles: A Journal of Research suggest that when a married woman does not use the surname of her husband, people tend to view the man as effeminate.
In addition, the husband is viewed as disempowered in the relationship.
“We know from prior research that people high in hostile sexism respond negatively to women who violate traditional gender roles,” says University of Nevada’s Rachael Robnett, the study’s lead author. “Our findings show that they also apply stereotypes to nontraditional women’s husbands.”
Robnett also says that this perception of surnames “reflects subtle gender-role norms and ideologies that often remain unquestioned despite privileging men.”