Battlepanda: You are what they call you


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

You are what they call you

Are girls with girly names girlier?
Parents are being warned to think long and hard when choosing names for their babies as research has discovered that girls who are given very feminine names, such as Anna, Emma or Elizabeth, are less likely to study maths or physics after the age of 16, a remarkable study has found.

Both subjects, which are traditionally seen as predominantly male, are far more popular among girls with names such as Abigail, Lauren and Ashley, which have been judged as less feminine in a linguistic test. The effect is so strong that parents can set twin daughters off on completely different career paths simply by calling them Isabella and Alex, names at either end of the spectrum. A study of 1,000 pairs of sisters in the US found that Alex was twice as likely as her twin to take maths or science at a higher level.

An interesting counterpoint to the Levitt and Dubner position that "black" names do not make a difference in life outcome. Obviously what must come next is a twin study that compares black twins with names of different degrees of "blackness". I wonder what they linguistic scale they use to determine that.

(via omnibrain)