Obviously a name is not the key reason behind the successes and failures of your life. The decisions one makes, background, lifestyle — all denominators of where your life takes you. According to William Shakespeare, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet” – you represent your name, not the other way around.
More studies are now finding that your name could play a significant role. in your future and who you become. An increasing number of studies are being conducted to see what kind of role a name plays in the lives of the people who hold them.
A study of 3,000 parents by Bounty.com found that in the UK, one-in-five parents regret the name they chose for their child. Why that feeling of regret? Well, a name can hold major influences on your psychology and the way others perceive. An extensive study done by economist, David Figlio, found that boys with androgynous names tend to misbehave more as soon as they reach secondary school. “A boy named Ashley gets teased and feels more self-conscious, particularly if there’s a girl with the same name in the class. They bring the test scores in their entire class down with them,” said Figlio.
Figlio also found that kids with misspelled names may have the shorter-end of the stick. This has a lot to do with stereotyping and children fulfilling the expectations that others hold for them. A great excuse for stereotyping is that as humans, we do it instinctively. We are built to decide within minutes of meeting someone if they are trustworthy or dangerous, evolution has made us this way. But unfortunately this form of stereotyping, better known as “nominative determinism,” has its negative effects on children.
Children with names that may reflect a lower socioeconomic background may be expected to achieve less or too fail. If the child actually comes from that type of environment may or may not be true, but their name increases the public’s assumption of that probability. Figlio learned through his research that unusually spelled names like “Jackquelyn” scored on average 3-5% less in exams than their siblings with more common names like “Mary” or “John.”
Other surveys have found that a name can even influence where we’ll choose to live: women named Georgia are more likely to move to the state of Georgia, and men called Louis are over-represented in Louisiana.
This concept has been touching more of everyday life, with approximately 490,000 babies born everyday worldwide, this topic is important to parents. The best advice for parents? Be prepared and do your research. Figlio put it best when he said “Is a name a guaranteed ladder to success? Of course not. But can a name make your life a little bit easier? For sure.”
Learning the sex as early as possible and giving yourself as much time to decide on a name can be a key role in not becoming a statistic. Don’t become one of those parents who regret the name they chose for their child. A name is meant to represent an individual so put some thought behind it.
Genetics Testing Laboratory offers a service known as the Gender Render. As early as 7 weeks post-conception, you and your loved ones can find out the sex of your baby and start buying those baby books and choosing a name. GTL promises a 99% accuracy rate with their testing and can bring you results 10 weeks prior to waiting for an ultrasound.