I find it somewhat odd that last names are unisex, but first names are not. Your first name is either male or female, and if you break that tradition, you get quite a bit of abuse for it. I can only think of a handful of exceptions to this rule (eg Ashley), and every culture that I’ve experienced so far has this system in place.
Are there any anthropologists out there who could tell me whether or not this is completely universal, or if it’s just a modern/western thing? What about ancient cultures?
Are there any generally accepted reasons for this? I assume humans put a *huge *amount of importance on a person’s gender for such a system to come into existence in the first place. I mean… what else do you know about a person from their name alone, other than their sex/gender? I can tell you about my friend John or Sally, but before I’ve said a word, you already know if they are a male or a female. This would suggest that humans find it very important to categorize, group, classify, pre-judge, and/or frame people based on sex/gender before anything other information is presented.
Ultimately, I just want to know if this is cultural, or if this is biological/genetic/innate behaviour? And if so, why?