As for people’s reasons for advocating that women change their names, family identity was a reoccurring theme, Powell said.
“One key theme was this idea that marriage is about shifting your identity from an individual identity to a collective or family identity,” Powell said. “What they don’t explain is why it is that women should change their names as opposed to men, or both the husband and wife shifting [to a new name].”
Some people cited the importance of having the same name for the couple’s children, while others said tradition or convenience made women changing their names the best option. Several harkened back to the traditions of coverture, with one person responding, “Women should change their names so there’s a connection there, just a connection to let you know that she belongs to him.”