Namn och namnbärare: Om könsneutrala, könskonträra och könsöverskridande namn
2016 (Swedish)In: Navn og navnebærer: Rapport fra NORNAs 45. symposium i Skagen 1.–4. oktober 2014 / [ed] Red. Martin Sejer Danielsen, Birgit Eggert og Johnny G.G. Jakobsen, Uppsala, 2016, 129-152 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Names and Name-Bearers: On Unisex and Gender Inconsistent Names In many cultures, one of the more important properties of a name is that a first name should indicate the bearer’s sex. This is even compulsory in some countries. Until a few years ago in Sweden, children and adults were not allowed to have first names traditionally borne by the opposite sex (genderinconsistent names). Some political parties and interest groups (e.g. LGBTQ-groups)6 regarded this attitude as discriminatory and have worked against it. After a court decision in 2009, the Swedish Tax Agency (where decisions on first names are taken) no longer regards genderinconsistent names as inappropriate for either adults or children. Gender-neutral or unisex names have, however, been in use for a long time. In the first major part of this paper I examine, through the results of three attitude surveys whether this new and more liberal view has any popular support among the Swedish people, i.e. whether people consider it okay to give boys’ names to girls and vice versa. All three surveys show that a majority of the respondents are against giving gender-inconsistent names to babies but that the attitude towards adults adopting such names is more allowing. In the second part of the paper, the results from an empirical study on the current use of unisex and genderinconsistent names for babies are discussed. My findings confirm earlier American studies showing that more unisex names have a background as male names than female names, that they are often without a long tradition in the country, and that many of them are short forms or pet forms stemming from different names, both male and female. However, my findings differ from those in the American studies in that most of the names used for children of both sexes are rather uncommon in Sweden.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala, 2016. 129-152 p.
NORNA-rapporter, ISSN 0346-6728 ; 93
first names; gender and names; teenagers; gender neutral names; attitudes
Languages and Literature
Research subject Scandinavian Languages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-320367ISBN: 978-91-7276-093-6 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-320367DiVA: diva2:1089318
Navn og navnebærer. NORNAs 45. symposium 1-4 oktober 2014, Skagen, Denmark