Young German Kevins are a few decades behind the U. Sucks to be you.” According to a study of interactions on the German dating site e Darling, online daters don’t even bother to click on the profiles of users with names that seem foreign and gauche to German ears, like Kevin. Another day, another crazy German noun: Kevinismus, which basically means, “You’re named Kevin?
That all sounds quite dire, but we’re gonna have to bust out the “correlation does not imply causation” card here.While the paper claims to have controlled for economic class, self-reported income on online-dating profiles is, well, notoriously unreliable.It also uses a person’s own income rather than parental income, which is a better indicator of the socioeconomic class someone grew up in.So if you’re named Kevin, that probably won’t hold you back much.While exotic baby names may seem like a disease that most commonly afflicts celebrities, in Germany it’s really about the other end of the economic spectrum.An article on Kevinism [note: this article contains a lot of German] in quotes sociologist Jürgen Gerhards, who asserts that Anglo-American names (Mandy, Justin, Angelina to name a few more) are a lower-class phenomenon.
It seems that no one has actually crunched the numbers to prove that, but jokes like “Only druggies and Easterners are named Kevin” suggest he’s on to something. ) It seems very possible that German Kevins’ smoking and lack of education has as much to do with their family background as it does with their name.
popularized a study on the causes and consequences of black- versus white-sounding names, whose key conclusion is that parents who name their kid Jake are quite different from the parents who name their kid De Shawn.
Yes, Jake will probably be more successful, but he is also likely to have had wealthier parents and grown up behind a white picket fence.
In short, name is a sign, more than a cause, of difference.
There may be a similar distinction between Kevin and Alexander, the most positive name according to the German study.
The authors excluded all non-white-seeming names to get around potential racial bias in their dataset, but the socioeconomic problem remains entangled.