More and more women are keeping their maiden names when they get hitched. But times may be changing back to the old days.

A new national survey finds that half of Americans support women being legally required to take their husband's name when they get married.

The study, by sociologist Brian Powell and colleagues at Indiana University asked 815 'nationally representative' Americans to explain their views on name-change choices.

According to the study published in April by Gender and Society Journal, two thirds of respondents said that taking a husband's name after marriage is 'best' and 50 per cent said that they would support a law requiring women to take their husband's name.

For the 30 percent that want to keep their maiden name, they say it is best for maintaining personal and individual identity.

Powell tells the Daily Mail that symbolism seems to be alive and well, "Wedding services today still have so many markings of the traditional gender divide. The symbolic aspects of gender are still very powerful."

Another study, published in March 2011 in the Names: A journal of Onomastics looked at New York Times wedding announcements.

That study found that name-changes are linked to social traditions and that at 55.9 percent women who had civil ceremonies were most likely to keep their maiden names. The announcements also found that women who had Catholics wedding ceremonies were least likely to keep their names, followed by Protestant and then Jewish women.

Hyphenating, children with different surnames and reversions to maiden names are becoming more common.

Powell and other social scientists are waiting, with interest, to see the trends especially regarding same-sex marriages.

"For gay couples, this is going to be a really interesting question," he told LiveScience.

"How many gay and lesbian couples are going to keep their names or take their spouses' names?" he said. "Does same-sex marriage lead to same-sex couples following the traditional pattern?"

So what do you think? Should women be required legally to take their husband's last name?

Viewers serve up their thoughts:

Jamie writes: "while we're at it lets give up our right to vote too. I took my husband's name by choice, but for women who choose not to.. Why force them. That's just going to p*ss a lot of women off."

Zulyyy tweets: @maggiesworld helllllllllllll no!!!! This is not the 1800s!

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