While you may hear some of the same boys' names on the playground now that you heard when you were a kid (hello, Michael and Ryan!), odds are you won't find any girls sporting the names that were popular when you were a kid—for instance, I haven't met a single young Jennifer, Lisa or Heather. And it turns out, girls' names tend to fall out of favor much more quickly—according to findmypast.com, an online genealogy site, they turn over in popularity at least seven times more often than the boys' names.
I don't think it's a matter of lack of creativity on the boys' parents' part. Here's my theories on why this happens:
1. There are more options out there for girls. There seem to be far fewer names out there for boys—as I discovered when I was searching out names for my potential son. Especially if you take out all those -aden, -aiden and -ayden baby names (which I did).
2. The girls have taken over so many names. Some names that were once for boys only, like Casey, Riley, Dana and Kennedy, are becoming more associated with girls than boys—and that means that there may be even bigger limits to what's available for boys.
3. I think girls' parents feel more free to be creative with their baby's names. I think parents worry more about giving boys a name that stands out (in case it could create problems with bullies on the playground), while girls are less likely to have issues with names that are unique.
4. You can't discount the "junior" factor. While women may be less inclined to give their daughters the same names they have, there are always plenty of juniors (and beyonds) around—and that means that names get passed down through the generations.
What do you think? Have you found that there are fewer options for boys' names than girls?
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