A new baby name trend is flipping all the rules when it comes to gender. According to Nameberry, names that have been traditionally used for boys throughout history are now being used for girls.
While this might not sound like a new development — after all, unisex names have been trending in a big way since 2014 — it actually is, as many of the names now being used for girls have been associated with males since Biblical and Roman times.
So forget the ever-common unisex names Charlie and Alex. We're talking names like Declan, Lamar and Sebastian being used for girls in 2017.
Nameberry notes that celebrities such as Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, who named their first daughter James in 2014; and Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, who named their baby girl Wyatt that same year, likely influenced this trend.
According to U.S. social security data, the top five traditional boy names that were used the most for girls in 2015 include August (given to 242 girls), Spencer (237), Ezra (205), Tyler (202) and Carson (177).
The growing numbers behind this phenomenon are evidence that gender is becoming as fluid a concept with names.
Nameberry creator Pamela Redmond Satran believes this trend is a sign of the times. "The growing numbers behind this phenomenon are evidence that gender is becoming as fluid a concept with names as it is in other areas of life, and that's a development we wholeheartedly support," she said. "But it will take parents naming their sons Sarah and Serena for us to achieve true gender parity."
Redmond Satran is right. Unisex names have always been mainly one-sided, with many parents choosing boy names for girls, but rarely the other way around.
There are a few reasons for this. One is that "culture is much more accepting of out-there girls' names," according to Professor Matthew Hahn, of the University of Indiana, who also co-wrote a 2003 study on baby name trends.
Culture is much more accepting of out-there girls' names.
Another reason is that boys with girl names are more likely to develop behavioural problems once they reach puberty. This happens especially when a boy with a female moniker is in a class with girls with the same name, according to research from 2007.
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