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Women's (No) Naming Right under the Shadow of Patronymy: Changes in the Public Attitudes in Taiwan between 2002 and 2012

父權陰影下的子女姓氏決定:比較台灣民眾在2002到2012年間的態度轉變

Abstracts


Patronymy is the norm by which children's surnames are based on their fathers' surnames; and/or wives' surnames are to follow their husbands'. Taiwan is one of the countries where the practice of patronymy prevails. Before 2007, it was legally required that children assume the father's surname, albeit with some exceptions. In 2007, the legislature passed a milestone amendment of family law that permits parents to decide the surname of the child through mutual agreement, but governmental statistics show that on average only 1.7% of all newborns in the past 9 years took their mother's surname. Whether people in Taiwan are indeed overwhelmingly dominated by patronymic thinking despite the legal amendment, or there is a disjuncture between people's attitudes and behavior on nontraditional surnaming as revealed by existing literature, is the main question that we want to probe. Drawing on data from the 2002 and 2012 Taiwan Social Change Survey, we analyze people's attitudes a decade apart, and the factors that influenced and differentiated people's attitudes. Based on binomial logistic analysis of the two surveys, we find significant impacts of demographic and socio-economic status on the naming practices in the family. While in general Taiwanese endorsement of patronymy declined after the law passed, men are significantly more likely to support patronymic naming than are women. Respondents with higher education and upper non-manual workers seem to be more flexible in bestowing children's last names. We also confirm that when people support gender equality and when women are better educated, families are more likely to accept the taking of mothers' surnames. To change the practice of patronymic surnaming, therefore, we suggest a more radical legal reform approach accompanying continuous feminist activism to empower women and change men's gender ideology, and to encourage the decision to give children the mother's surname.

Parallel abstracts


父╱夫姓常規是指子女應從父姓、妻子應改為夫姓或冠夫姓。在台灣,除了少數法定例外,子女依法須從父姓。歷經多年婦女運動的努力,〈民法〉2007年廢除子女應從父姓的規定,改由父母自行約定。官方數據顯示,新法實施九年以來,所有新生兒中只有1.7%從母姓。台灣人民的態度真與新法大相逕庭、如此支持父姓常規嗎?本文分析2002和2012年「台灣社會變遷基本調查」資料,以瞭解台灣人對於從父姓或母姓的態度變化及影響態度的因素。二元邏輯迴歸分析結果顯示,父權意識形態與社經地位對於子女從姓態度有顯著影響。儘管民眾對父姓常規的支持度明顯下降,男性仍較支持子女從父姓;教育程度較高者、白領階級、較具性別平權意識者、母親社經地位較高者對從母姓較為認同或開放。但男性社經地位並無影響。因此若要改變父姓常規並縮減態度與實踐上的落差,似乎需採行更基進的法律來回應夫妻協商立足點的不平等,並持續推動女性主義運動以培力女性地位,並提高男性對性別平等的支持。

References


Almack, Kathryn(2005).What's in a Name? The Significance of the Choice of Surnames Given to Children Born within Lesbian-parent Families.Sexualities.8(2),239-254.
Augustine-Adams, Kif(1997).The Beginning of Wisdom Is to Call Things by Their Right Names.Southern California Review of Law and Women's Studies.7(1),1-35.
Brightman, Joan(1994).Why Hillary chooses Rodham Clinton.American Demographics.16(3),9-11.
Rebick, Marcus(edited),Takenaka, Ayumi(edited)(2006).The Changing Japanese Family.London:Routledge.
章英華、傅仰止()。,未出版。

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