Gender-neutral names are reportedly on the rise, as proven when the most popular baby names for 2017 were revealed.
Gender stereotyping is something that society is becoming more aware of and more vocal about. Many Parents around the world have followed this trend, choosing a gender-neutral name for their newborn to avoid gender-related discrimination.
In 2017, 20 names stood out as being registered to both male and female newborns in the UK. The most popular gender-neutral name in 2017 was Riley, with two-thirds of male registers and one-third being female.
Close second was Frankie, with two-thirds of female registers and one-third male. The rise in gender-neutral names reflects an interesting shift in gender attitudes.
The benefits of giving your baby a gender-neutral name
Choosing a gender-neutral name for your baby can disassociate common misconceptions made about a person due to their gender. This may result in more opportunities and a more open-minded approach to that individual. Evidence suggestions that those with gender-neutral names are more likely to achieve success in their careers and in their personal life.
A generational thing
The trend reflects the fact that millennials are a more open-minded and accepting generation, with many parents making the decision to ensure that their children don’t feel pressured to conform to stereotypes that could be restrictive. In choosing a gender-neutral baby name, you are actively encouraging your child to be their true self, and working against the stereotypes that are attached to specific genders.
The gender split
The gender split typically lies in favour of males, meaning it could be more beneficial to choose a gender-neutral name for baby girls. In the 1990s, researchers found that college students gave the same essay a higher score when the author was claimed to be male, and a lower score for female authors.
By opting for a gender-neutral baby name, you are choosing to avoid attaching any preconceived stereotypes to your child, which may open them up to more opportunities and experiences as a result.
10 gender neutral names to consider for 2018
Harley: American – meaning “old English hare wood (or meadow). From the hare’s meadow.”
Quinn: Gaelic – meaning “wisdom, reason, intelligence”
Frankie: French – meaning “from France, or free one”
Harper: English – meaning “harp player”
Avery: French/English – meaning “ruling with elf-wisdom” in French and “counselor” in English
Riley: English – meaning “wood clearing” from the Old English ryge leah
Rowan: Irish – meaning “red”.
Ash: Hebrew – meaning “happy”
Blake: English – meaning “dark-haired” and also the reversed “pale, fair-haired”
Morgan: Welsh – meaning “sea-born”
Would you choose a gender-neutral name for you baby? Do you think it’s important? Leave a comment below to join in with the discussion.