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Reproductive Sociology Research Group

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Robert Pralat


Robert's research combines his interests in reproduction, sexuality, health and gender. 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.

Thinking and Talking about Parenthood, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, is based on Robert's PhD study, which examined views 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, funded by the Wellcome Trust and the British HIV Association, explores views about personal relationships, including parenthood, among gay and bisexual men living with HIV, drawing on interviews with patients and healthcare practitioners in four HIV clinics in London. 

Technologies of Desire, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, examines moral judgments about public funding allocation in healthcare while simultaneously exploring how different kinds of desire, such as sexual desire and a desire to have a child, affect the demand for various medical technologies.

Robert is subject manager for Medical Sociology on the multidisciplinary MPhil in Health, Medicine and Society. He is also actively involved in undergraduate teaching on the Human, Social and Political Science (HSPS) Tripos, where he lectures on the Sociology of Gender (SOC10) and Social Problems in Britain (SOC12) papers, and on the Medical Sciences Tripos (MedST), where he is one of the seminar leaders on the Social and Ethical Context of Health and Illness paper.

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.

Key Publications

Between future families and families of origin: Talking about gay parenthood across generations. In S. Pooley and K. Qureshi (eds), Parenting between generations: Transforming reproductive cultures. Berghahn Books.

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