Flipping the (Surname) Script: Men's Nontraditional Surname Choice at Marriage
Journal of Family Issues
Using unique, nationally representative data that asks individuals about their surname choice in marriage, we explore heterosexual men's nontraditional surname choice. We focus on how education both absolute and relative to wives'correlates with nontraditional surname choice. Following class-based masculinities theory, we find that men with more education are less likely to choose a nontraditional surname. Despite being more egalitarian in attitudes, men with more education are more likely to have careers that give them privileged status in their marriages and may have more to lose in their career by changing their name. In addition, men with less education than their wives are less likely to change their surnames. We argue that this is consistent with compensatory gender display theory. Men having less education in marriage may translate into having less earning power, which is gender nonnormative as men are culturally expected to be primary breadwinners in marriage.
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Shafer, E. F., & Christensen, M. A. (2018). Flipping the (Surname) Script: Menâ€™s Nontraditional Surname Choice at Marriage. Journal of Family Issues, 0192513X18770218.