The end of 'Mr and Mrs'?

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Women are increasingly keeping their own surnames when they marry, a new study suggests.

Research conducted by Facebook for The Sunday Times (£) shows women in their 20s are more likely to keep their maiden name when they marry than older women.

Researchers examined British women with a "married" status whose husbands also use Facebook and found a third of those in their 20s have kept their own name.

Hyphenated surnames also appear to be falling out of fashion, with just 4% of women under 30 going double-barrelled, the study showed.

Women in their 30s are more likely to taken their husband's name, while just 9% of women in their 60s kept their own name.

Compromise: Dawn Porter changed her surname to O'Porter when she married Chris O'Dowd

Angela McRobbie, the author of The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change, told the paper: "The generation now in their 30s were too easily swayed by the complex backlash against feminism but we are now seeing a kind of uprising among younger women."

However, there remains an expectation on women to change their name, says Rachel Thwaites, who has researched marital name-changing at the University of York.

"Women who resist this pressure are often doing so as a feminist decision or a move for equality in their relationship," she said.

Some women who intend to keep their maiden names, eventually take their husband's name to avoid any confusion when they have children, she suggested.

Words: Anna Pollitt. Images: Rex Features

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