Using husband’s name costly affair


Researchers at the University of Tilburg (Dutch) have discovered that married women who use their husband’s family name are generally seen as more dependent, less ambitious and less intelligent. Subjects were told that they were introduced to Peter and Helga Bosboom at a party (Helga using her husband’s name), and when asked rated Helga as caring, dependent, less intelligent and emotional. Using a hyphenated last name has the same effect.

The researchers estimated that using the “wrong” last name could even cost a woman EUR 361,708 during her life time. In an experiment in which subjects were asked to take the place of a human resources manager, women that used their husband’s name were generally rated for jobs that paid EUR 861.21 less than those for women that retained their maiden names.

According to Dutch law, both men and women keep their own family name when marrying, but both the wedded and divorced are allowed to use their own name and that of their (ex)partner in any combination in public.

(Via Jong Nieuws.)


  1. Orangemaster says:

    And because men can’t take on their wife’s name (gays probably can in the Netherlands), this would mean that women are always at a disadvantage, no matter what they do and that perception does not reflect reality.

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