Friday, February 6, 2009

What's in a Name?

A new study says to be wary of what you name your sons:

Results show that, regardless of race, juveniles with unpopular names are more likely to engage in criminal activity. The least popular names were associated with juvenile delinquency among both blacks and whites.

While the names are likely not the cause of crime, the researchers argue that "they are connected to factors that increase the tendency to commit crime, such as a disadvantaged home environment, residence in a county with low socioeconomic status, and households run by one parent."

"Also, adolescents with unpopular names may be more prone to crime because they are treated differently by their peers, making it more difficult for them to form relationships," according to a statement released by the journal's publisher. "Juveniles with unpopular names may also act out because they consciously or unconsciously dislike their names."


So think about this parents next time you think that its cute to name your son Sue, or some other idiotic name. As a child who grew up with an odd last name, it's always been a personal irritant to see parents treat naming their kids as some sort of creative game. Your kid has to live with that name for their entire lives, or until they are old enough to legally change it. Do them a favor and make it simple and easy.

2 comments:

alex said...

"Anybody care to know the most common first names of Liverpool’s criminals? Martin Rosenbaum, on his BBC News blog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/opensecrets/ , has posted such a list, including types of offenses. Now all someone has to do is cross-index the most popular criminal names with the most popular names in general and break them out according to socioeconomic status, etc. As it now stands, it’s not much more than a curiosity — and a rather troubling one at that, considering that “Stephen” is No. 5 on the list (after James, Michael, John, and Paul, and followed by Anthony, David, Thomas, Lee, and Christopher). At least the typical Stephen was relatively less violent than the typical James; Stephen, it seems, prefers drugs." -- http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/08/22/a-thug-by-any-other-name/

alex said...

"Results show that, regardless of race, juveniles with unpopular names are more likely to engage in criminal activity.
"Also, adolescents with unpopular names may be more prone to crime because they are treated differently by their peers..."

So far, the article talked about "unpopular" names. However, you decided to give advice to people who might give their children "idiotic" names. Why the change?