"In its purist form, marriage is about starting a family, and I wanted to start that family with the same name," she said. "Eventually it came down to practicality and what felt right."Although the story is about name-changing, the change itself is not the important part of the story. The important part is what Ms. Rogers says: "In its [purest] form, marriage is about starting a family[.]" [I assume that "purist" is a rather interesting editorial decision rather than her actual word choice. --Grim]
Like Rogers, an overwhelming majority of all brides drop their surnames, according to the Lucy Stone League, named for a woman who refused to take her husband's name in 1855. Another survey, published last spring in the journal Gender and Society, finds that at least half of those queried said they would agree that a name change should be a requirement for marriage. "It absolutely shocked us," said co-author Brian Powell, who is a professor of sociology at Indiana University.
Powell surveyed 815 Americans of all genders and educational and economic backgrounds, asking them if they "agreed" or "did not agree" with certain statements on views of family. More than 70 percent of women said they agreed that a woman should change her name at marriage. And half said "yes" when asked whether making the name change a state law was a good idea.
Marriage is a kinship bond uniting bloodlines across generations. The sense that this is not about one's own personal identity, but about forging a new family, is a very healthy and correct instinct. Exactly how names are aligned is less important than that this sense is maintained -- and indeed, the study shows that something like a majority would support the groom taking the bride's name.
Catholics are least likely not to change their names, followed by Protestants and Jews, but that the overall rate of non-changing is only 18%. Tellingly, gay men who choose to pursue "gay marriage" tend to keep their own names -- pointing clearly to the fact that something other than the forging of a new kinship bond is at the core of this practice.
Interesting stuff. I have very little by way of an opinion about whether or not a woman ought to take the name of her husband. The foundation of marriage is a matter that is of interest to us all, as the foundation of marriage and family is the foundation on which any civilization stands -- if it does.