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Perceptions of Married Women and Married Men with Hyphenated Surnames

Abstract

A predominately European American sample of 197 middle-class college students rated married women and men with hyphenated surnames on the Big Five personality factors (R. Lippa, 1991), the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (J. T. Spence & R. L. Helmreich, 1978), the adjectives “masculine” and “feminine,” and 12 adjective phrases reflecting different aspects of marriage. Both men and women perceived women and men with hyphenated last names as different from other married people. In comparison with the average married woman, the woman with a hyphenated name was perceived as more friendly, good-natured, industrious, and intellectually curious. She was also perceived as well educated and as more likely to have a career. Men with hyphenated surnames were also perceived as accommodating and good-natured, and viewed as being both nurturing and committed to their marriage. Women and men with hyphenated names were generally perceived as having higher levels of both instrumental and expressive traits than other married people. Women appear to have more positive perceptions than men, particularly of the man with a hyphenated name. The results suggest that college students have generally positive perceptions of married people with hyphenated names.

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Forbes, G.B., Adams-Curtis, L.E., White, K.B. et al. Perceptions of Married Women and Married Men with Hyphenated Surnames. Sex Roles 46, 167–175 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1019613819247

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1019613819247

  • arried names
  • hyphenated names
  • married women
  • married men