Writing in Social Science Quarterly, Shippensburg University professor David Kalist says giving newborn males oddball, girly or strange first names may just help land them in jail.
In alphabetical order, the Top 10 “bad boy” names, according to Kalist, are Alec, Ernest, Garland, Ivan, Kareem, Luke, Malcolm, Preston, Tyrell and Walter.
So if Ivan is terrible or Alec turns out to be a smart aleck, Kalist and his associate, Daniel Lee, believe they know the reason why. While noting that “unpopular names are likely not to be the cause of crime,” the social factors of being tagged with an offbeat moniker “increase the tendency toward juvenile delinquency.”
The pair based their report on a study of some 15,000 names given to baby boys between 1987 and 1991. They found that the more unlikely the name, the more likely a boy is to commit a delinquent act.
In writing about the Social Science Quarterly report, Time magazine pointed to a 1993 study that showed boys who have strange spellings of common first names (read Patric, Geoffrey) are less likely to be upstanding and successful; a 2001 study showing that boys are judged for their moral character and masculinity by their first names; and a University of Michigan study that stated, “having an unusual first name leads to unfavorable reactions in others, which then leads to unfavorable evaluations of the self.”
Within moments of the Social Science Quarterly report’s release, many Web sites were already poking fun at it. Writing on the Laughing Stork Web site, Candy Kirby commented, “People warned my parents I would end up a hooker or a stripper if they named me ‘Candy.’ And look at me. I NEVER dabbled in prostitution!”
The Kalist-Lee study also touched on baby girl names, noting that previous research showed a baby gal given the name Allison is seldom the daughter of high school dropouts — and that, on the whole, the less schooling they have, the more likely parents are to give their kids unpopular names.
It begs the question: Do you live up to your name?Source