More and more parents seek unusual and unique names for their children. There is no question the impulse is a good one, our child is unique and we want him to stand out from the crowd, but we want to make sure our boys stand out from the crowd for the right reasons. David E. Kalist and Daniel Y. Lee researchers at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania have found that boys in the United States with common names like Michael and David are less likely to commit crimes than boys with names like Ernest or Ivan according to their study published in the journal Social Science Quarterly.
Kalist and Lee came to this startling finding by comparing the names of Juvenile delinquents with the names of juveniles in the general population according to the website, Livescience.com. The researchers then assigned each name a value on a popularity-name index, (PNI). The most frequently given names for the age group were assigned a value of 100, names given half as frequently would be assigned a value of 50 and the least given names were assigned a value of 1 according to the research results published in the Social Science Quarterly. Amongst the population studied at Shippensburg University, Michael was the most frequently given name and rated a 100 on the PNI, David was a name given half as often and so rated a 50 on the PNI, names such as Ernest, Ivan, Malcolm, Alec or Kareem were rated a 1 on the index.
The names with the lowest value on the PNI, those names given the least to baby boys, were most likely to be associated with juvenile delinquency regardless of race reports the website Livescience.com.
Researchers acknowledge the names themselves are not the cause of crime, but they are connected to factors contributing to the tendency to commit crime. The report at Livescience.com points out that boy given unpopular names may act out because consciously or unconsciously dislike their name. The report goes on to point out that boys with unusual names may also be treated differently by their peers, making it difficult to form relationships.
It is common knowledge that Adolf was an extremely popular name in Germany before the rise of Adolph Hitler, and is almost unseen today. A couple in New Jersey have lost custody of their children and have been accused of child abuse for naming their son Adolf Hitler according to the website NJ.com. A child’s name can carry a lot of weight, and history, so choose carefully. A boy by any other name will still smell as sweet.