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Changing (In)Fertilities



Robert's research combines his interests in reproduction, sexuality, gender and health. He studies how people respond to cultural changes and advances in medicine that enable them to become parents. Robert is currently working on three research projects:

Imagining Parenthood, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, is based on Robert's PhD study, which examined views, perceptions and conversations about becoming parents and remaining child-free in a young generation of lesbians, gay men and bisexual people in Britain.

Men's Attitudes to Intimate Life (MAIL), funded by the Wellcome Trust and the British HIV Association, explores thoughts and feelings about intimate relationships, including parenthood, among gay and bisexual men living with HIV, drawing on interviews with patients and staff in four HIV clinics in London. 

Technologies of Desire, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the Isaac Newton Trust, examines ‘desire’ (such as sexual desire and the desire to have a child) as a potential driving force behind both the demand for medical interventions and the mobilisation of moral judgments about whether medical interventions should be publicly funded.

Robert is Medical Sociology Subject Manager on the multidisciplinary MPhil in Health, Medicine and Society. He is also actively involved in teaching on the MPhil in Sociology and on the Human, Social and Political Science (HSPS) Tripos, where he lectures on the sociology of gender (SOC10) and on social problems in Britain (SOC12).

Before moving to Cambridge, Robert worked in the Centre for Sexual Health and HIV Research at University College London and in the Office for Public Management, a London-based organisation for the improvement of public services. He also conducted research for Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Germany. Robert has a BSc in Psychology and an MA in Gender Studies from the University of Leeds, and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Cambridge.

You can follow Robert on Academia and Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.


Key publications: 

Parenthood as intended: Reproductive responsibility, moral judgements and having children 'by accident' The Sociological Review, OnlineFirst.

More natural does not equal more normal: Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people's views about different pathways to parenthood Journal of Family Issues, 39(18), 4179-4203.

Between future families and families of origin: Talking about gay parenthood across generations, Parenthood Between Generations: Transforming Reproductive Cultures ed. S. Pooley and K. Qureshi, Berghahn Books, 43-64.

Repro-sexual intersections: Sperm donation, HIV prevention and the public interest in semen Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 30(3), 211-219.

For a full list of publications, see Google Scholar or Scopus.

ReproSoc, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge
 Robert  Pralat
Not available for consultancy