Boys With Unpopular Names Commit More Crime

juvenile deliquent, boys, prison

This one gets an "Oh, boy" (no pun intended) from me, but forget my feelings--how do you feel about this? reported that a journal, Social Science Quarterly released these findings today:

Boys in the United States with common names like Michael and David are less likely to commit crimes than those named Ernest or Ivan.


[Researchers] compared the first names of male juvenile delinquents to the first names of male juveniles in the population. The researchers constructed a popularity-name index (PNI) for each name. For example, the PNI for Michael is 100, the most frequently given name during the period. The PNI for David is 50, a name given half as frequently as Michael. The PNI is approximately 1 for names such as Alec, Ernest, Ivan, Kareem, and Malcolm.

Results show that, regardless of race, juveniles with unpopular names are more likely to engage in criminal activity. The least popular names were associated with juvenile delinquency among both blacks and whites.

I suppose my question is: Who makes up "the population" that the bad kids with the crazy names were compared against? Because a popular name in one part of town, can be very, very different somewhere else. If this study is accurate, my boys are in big trouble.

What do you think about these findings?

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