Unusual Names and a Life of Crime - Mo's Journal
Unusual Names and a Life of Crime| A study in Social Science Quarterly profiled on the Today show
suggests that giving kids unusual names can lead them to bad behavior and eventual jail time. The study explains that unusual names lead to low self-esteem, which lead to delinquency, saying "having an unusual first name leads to unfavorable reactions in others, which then leads to unfavorable evaluations of the self."
I guess it's too late to save me and my kids... or Barack Obama.
Current Mood: amused
oh, what a sad!
just yesterday I was reviewing "The names most commonly used" list, in my country.
I thought "if I have a son, I will not call he ( or she)by a common name."
I had someone once tell me that during my resume evaluation one of the VPs said, "This chick can't even spell her own name!"
It led to a conversation wherein the conclusion that maybe that's just how my name is spelled was eventually reached. I can't imagine it helped, though.
taffimai: reminds me of an old Borscht Belt joke: one old guy walks up to another one and says, "Shapiro! You look terrible! You lost your hair, your teeth fell out, you're all hunched over three inches shorter..."
The other guy says, "You've got me mixed up with someone else, my name is Solly Goldberg."
"Gevalt! And you changed your name too!"
It's almost like...the Invasion of the Reverse Body-Snatchers! Or Anti-Capgras Syndrome!
Hee, yes, I've heard that one! I like Anti-Capgras syndrome, myself.
|Date:||July 17th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)|| |
I don't even have a coherent comment. I keep dissolving into a mass of CLASS&RACEYOUIDIOTS.
|Date:||July 17th, 2009 05:19 pm (UTC)|| |
Dude, not to be nosy, but what is that yellow thing in your icon?
|Date:||July 17th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)|| |
It's some sort of exotic fruit or vegetable. I happen to think it doesn't look anything like Helen...
I hope not! I don't know her, though, so I guess it was a possibility.
Apparently the mystery's been solved -- see below.
|Date:||July 18th, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)|| |
*laughs* Ew! That's awesome, and weird, and awesome. And I'm delighted. Thank you.
|Date:||July 18th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)|| |
The story is, my daughters and I gave my husband odd fruit in his Xmas stocking a couple of years ago. When he pulled this out, he said "Cthulu", so of course we had to put on eyes.
When I joined LJ, I wanted something that looked kind of like me. And it looks more like me than any other citrus fruit; and I look more like it than, say, Mofic does.
It smells wonderful, btw - it's almost all rind, though, so not really useful.
I'm sure an unusual name is more often gifted by parents that are most unusual, and both the name and the genetics encourage non-conformity (though the name probably has a lot less impact than the fact the parents are likely non-conformists as well) - aka naturally non-conformist parents raising a child with a non-conformist names child in a non-coformist household will produce non-conformist adults (*gasp* - so unexpected!). As with many sociological studies, this one seems to be very 'fluffy' as far as the actual science goes. I'd be confortable calling this one hogwash.
As for me (a lifelong non-conformist), I'd not only give my children names that are guaranted to be unique in human record, I'd give them four names. As a amateur genealogist, I'd thank myself profusely. After trying to sort out all the colonial Sarah Clarks in my family tree for a hundred hours or more (apparently at one point Sarah Clark was the most popular name in Virginia, in some counties approaching double digit percentages of women), I'd NEVER give my children a common name.
If it makes you feel any better for the sake of your kids, my name is one of the most common ones you'll ever find, especially in my age group, and I've always been a delinquent little snot. In fact I hate my name and have been actively looking for a replacement for many years, to no avail.
|Date:||July 17th, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC)|| |
I actually feel fine for my kids, at least as regards their names. I think the whole thing is bunk, personally.
Edited for clarity: I was mostly just snickering at the fact that I'm walking proof of the study's total idiocy.
Your kids have turned out fine; yes, it's bunk.
I wonder how much of this is generalized "unfavorable reactions," and how much of it is specific unfavorable reactions
. The specific names listed don't follow through with my thought, though.
|Date:||July 17th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)|| |
I remember that essay. Well, some of the names they listed are generally considered black names: Kareem, Tyrell, and Malcolm.
My elder daughter's name is also considered to be a black name. We're white and didn't know that although unusual in general, it's less so among African Americans.
|Date:||July 17th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)|| |
The study's methodology left out the names of immigrant kids, who get the "disadvantage" of coming from different cultures and having to learn English on top of their woefully non-WASP names. As long as we're trading in stereotypes, how would these nimrods explain the "industrious immigrant"? And did they control for any other factors thought to contribute to delinquency? Gah, this is stupid.
So, you know, speaking as someone with a "foreign" name that people have mispronounced most of my life...shut up, dude. No, really.
Y HELO THAR CLASS AND RACE!
First names are mostly a class thing in Australia, but there was a recent study of surnames saying that someone with an Italian surname on their resume got 12% fewer interviews than someone with an Anglo name, all the way up to people with Vietnamese names getting 48% fewer interviews. They were confused by the results with Greek surnames, but it turned out that people with long Greek surnames were discriminated against but those with short Greek surnames were not.
ETA: Your daughters' names don't sound at all unusual to me - maybe they're covert Aussies?
Edited at 2009-07-18 01:25 am (UTC)
|Date:||July 18th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)|| |
Interesting! So there are lots of Kendras and Zaras running around Australia? How do you pronounce Zara?
And my name (Dale) is, I think, a common Aussie man's name. Is that right?
Dale is a common name for both men and women of about your age group - there's not many baby Dales running around! And yes, Kendra and Zara are both pretty common, probably because of the Scottish connection for Kendra, and because of Princess Anne's daughter Zara. There's lots of Kendras aged about 15-40, and Zaras tend to be either over 80 or under 20. It's pronounced ZAH-ra to rhymes with Sahara, not like the American Tara (which sounds like "terror" to me!)
|Date:||July 18th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)|| |
That's how we pronounce Zara too, at least if I'm guessing right on how you say Sahara (most people here would say Sahara to rhyme with Tara). I used to say we pronounce it to rhyme with tiara, not Sarah, but then I found some people say tiara like the American Tara (and Sarah). So now I say we pronounce it to rhyme with Guadalajara.
In fact, I used to say this silly rhyme to her when she was little:
Oh Zara oh Zara
I'd get you a tiara
To wear near and far away
From Medicine Hat to Guadalajara
From Santiago to Thunder Bay
But Zara my Zara
You don't need a tiara
One look and all will say
That brighter by far than any tiara
is the smile of Zara Mae.
Zara would rhyme with tiara and Guadalajara for me, too! That's a gorgeous song, I love it!
|Date:||July 25th, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)|| |
There's always the pronunciation that Ian favors: Zah-wah, which also rhymes with Guadalajara
|Date:||July 25th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)|| |
That was Zara's pronunciation at Ian's age, too. Which led to comical exchanges with strangers who would ask her her name. She'd say "Zah wah" and they'd repeat it and she'd say, "No, not Zah wah, Zah wah."
I think they mean Shane'qua and Ra'feek. Blech.
otoh, having grown up with a somewhat uncommon name myself, I was quite willing to give my son a more or less normal one.
Thanks to a Quebec governmental website
, I know that my kid was the only Callum born in 2007 in this province—though there were 2 the year before and 4 the year after.
Um, I have no real concerns about this leading to delinquency.