Men viewed as more feminine, lacking pants if wives keep last name, study finds

RENO, Nevada — What’s in a last name? Muscle, apparently. Men married to women who opt to keep their maiden names after tying the knot are often viewed as less masculine and lacking pants in the relationship, a new study finds.

Researchers at the University of Nevada conducted three related studies in the United States and United Kingdom, hoping to learn how a woman’s decision to keep her last name affected how others perceived her husband.

Bride holding wedding rings
A new study finds that a man is viewed as less masculine and disempowered when his wife keeps her maiden name after marriage.

The researchers’ first two studies found that whenever a husband’s last name differed from that of his wife’s, he was frequently described in ways that both deemphasized his masculinity and overemphasized any feminine characteristics.

Meanwhile, previous research has shown that wives who shun the time-tested naming tradition enjoy a number of benefits, including higher social status and perception of power, along with increased self-focus, ambition, and assertiveness.

These qualities run counter to older, rigid portrayals of women, which depict them as kind and nurturing, yet powerless, the researchers note.

“A woman’s marital surname choice therefore has implications for perceptions of her husband’s instrumentality, expressivity, and the distribution of power in the relationship,” says Rachael Robnett, the study’s lead author, in a journal release. “Our findings indicate that people extrapolate from marital surname choices to make more general inferences about a couple’s gender-typed personality traits.”

Robnett’s third study showed that men who held steadfast beliefs on traditional gender roles showed increased prejudice against husbands who didn’t share their last name with their spouse, seeing him as disempowered.

“We know from prior research that people high in hostile sexism respond negatively to women who violate traditional gender roles,” she explains. “Our findings show that they also apply stereotypes to nontraditional women’s husbands.”

While societal change benefiting women has continued at a steady pace, many feminists still wonder when women will no longer be expected to take on their husband’s surname, which they regard as an obsolete practice.

“The marital surname tradition is more than just a tradition,” Robnett argues. “It reflects subtle gender-role norms and ideologies that often remain unquestioned despite privileging men.”

The researchers published their findings last week in the journal Sex Roles.


  1. I wouldn’t marry a woman that insisted on keeping her last name. Women’s liberation and the Gloria Steinem’s of this world has ruined marriage and the stupid women have fallen for it. She’s a nasty woman.

  2. “wives who shun the time-tested naming tradition enjoy a number of benefits, including higher social status and perception of power, along with increased self-focus, ambition, and assertiveness.” Yeah. They are the new feminist power-brokers in top positions in academia and government, whose maiden names attest to their Liberal bona fidees.

  3. When a woman doesn’t take her husband’s name they are both participating in the Marxist deconstruction of the family.

  4. Surprised this was the “published” conclusion of the study, considering most studies of this nature are conducted by liberals for liberal publications. Liberals, being inherently dishonest will always skew results to favor their desired outcome, position, or opinion. In a liberals mind, the end always justifies the means. As for men marrying a woman who insists on keeping her name, or worse, hyphenating his name, or WORSE – taking his wife’s name…. all are pu$$ies – the lot of ’em.

  5. This is only a perception, a general viewpoint of majority. I never view men as less masculine solely for this. Being masculine for me, is able to respect, god-fearing, disciplined, humble, etc. His main responsibility in marriage is to LOVE his wife. Though, men and women differ in roles. EACH role is EQUALLY important. Men and Women complement, each should work for each other NOT against. Marriage is not a liability, ONLY, if you fear God and keep his commandments. Marriage is a GIFT, but only few sees it so.

  6. I’d advise any woman who thinks she needs to get married to run like hell from any insecure piece of shit that needs to own another person and tries to change who you are – down to your very name. In fact, there is no reason for marriage what so ever. Women your uterus works without a piece of paper and a man trying to own you like property. Buy your own home, pay your own way, make you own babies, and when men realize the fantasy of a “man’s world” is a bag of bull shit they can cry alone or get their shit together and start treating women with the respect we deserve. The author of this article, the study, the morons who think you’re less of a man for ‘allowing’ a woman to be herself, all of them are in for a big surprise. Women don’t need men. Men need women. Reality check bitches – this is a WOMAN’S WORLD Deal with it.

  7. Every 17 seconds an antiquated thinker gets dropped in their forever box. My eyes (and mind) are forward.

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