Sharon and Tracey make way for Kelly and Louise in the easy virtue stakes

December 16, 1999

(Are there excess Sharons in genitourinary clinics?) BMJ Volume 319 18 December 1999 pp1615

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The much maligned "Sharon", "Tracey" and "Sandra", who have been the butt of so many Essex girl jokes, are finally vindicated in this week's Christmas issue of the BMJ as researchers find that the real culprits of easy virtue are "Kelly" and "Louise".

In an analysis of 16-24 year old females attending a genitourinary clinic in Southampton, Dr Elizabeth Foley and colleagues found that contrary to popular belief, Sharon and Tracey were not the most popular names of attendees. They actually found that of the 1462 women who attended the clinic the top ten names most frequently seen were:-

  1. Sarah

  2. Emma

  3. Kelly

  4. Louise

  5. Claire

  6. Lisa

  7. Rachel

  8. Clare

  9. Michelle

  10. Nicola

The authors are quick to point out that they compared these findings with data from the Office of Populations Censuses and Surveys and they found that most of the top 10 names for women attending the department were seen with the frequency expected by the incidence of the name in the population. Nevertheless, some names were more popular among the study group at the clinic than they were in the general population, including Kelly, Louise and Clare (with no "i").

The much maligned Sharon, Tracey and Sandra, however, were seen half as often as expected and the authors say that as we enter the new millennium these names should make way for the more popular 'Hampshire Girls'.

Dr Elizabeth Foley, Specialist Registrar, Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Royal South Hants Hospital, Southampton Tel: +44 (0)1703 825438/9 or (Thurs) (0)1489 797839 Fax: +44 (0)1703 825122


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