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Why More Women Are Choosing to Keep Their Maiden Names

Why More Women Are Choosing to Keep Their Maiden Names

A recent study shows that more women are saying, "I don't" instead of "I do" when it comes to changing their last names when getting married.

A new report by The New York Times' Upshot blog shows that about 30 percent of women in recent years have decided to keep their maiden names in some way after getting married.

The report also found that 20 percent of women keep their last name in full, while 10 percent decide to hyphenate their name or legally change it while continuing to use their birth name professionally.

The number of women choosing to keep their maiden name has risen since the 1980s and 1990s, when only 14 to 18 percent of women kept their maiden names.

Who's most likely to keep their last name?

High-income urban women are – such as those in the wedding pages of The New York Times, in which 29.5 percent have kept their maiden names in recent years, up from 16.2 percent in 1990.

"The pressure is huge," Laurie Scheuble, who teaches sociology at Penn State and studies marital naming, told The New York Times. "This is the strongest gendered social norm that we enforce and expect."

But women aren't always keeping their last names for political reasons. 

"It's not necessarily a feminist reason, but it's just my name for 33 years of my life," Donna Suh told The New York Times, who got married in September and chose to keep her last name. "Plus, I'm Asian and he's not, so it's less confusing for me to not have a white name. And on social media I thought it might be harder to find me."

NEXT: What Happens When a Woman Gives Her Daughter Her Last Name »

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Photo Credit: Tetra Images via Getty Images