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Reproductive Sociology Research Group

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Robert Pralat


Robert's research combines his interests in parenthood, sexuality, health and gender. He studies how people who, historically, have not been expected to have children - for example, gay people or people living with HIV - respond to cultural changes and how they approach advances in medicine that enable them to become parents. His work concentrates on contemporary Britain.

Robert is currently leading a research project, Men's Attitudes to Intimate Life, on views about personal relationships among gay and bisexual men living with HIV. In this study, supported by the Wellcome Trust and the British HIV Association, he has interviewed patients and healthcare practitioners in sexual health clinics to identify contexts in which considerations about parenthood and childlessness might be relevant in HIV care of non-heterosexual men.

At the same time, Robert is working on a book manuscript based on his recently completed doctoral research, Future Intimacies, which explores views about becoming parents and remaining childfree in a young generation of lesbians, gay men and bisexual people. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, this study sheds light on what men and women who form same-sex relationships think - and how they talk - about different ways of creating families.

Robert is one of the coordinators of the MPhil in Sociology, responsible for the Sociology of Reproduction pathway. He is also subject manager for Sociology on the interdisciplinary MPhil in Health, Medicine and Society. If you are interested in either programme, do feel free to get in touch!

In addition, Robert is actively involved in undergraduate teaching on the Human, Social and Political Science (HSPS) Tripos. His responsibilities include organising a third-year Sociology of Gender paper (SOC10), contributing to another third-year paper, Modern Britain (SOC12), where he lectures on sexuality and equality, and supervising dissertations on topics related to his research interests. He is also one of the seminar leaders on the Social Context of Health and Illness paper, taken by first-year medical students as part of the Medical and Veterinary Sciences Tripos (MVST).

Before moving to Cambridge, Robert worked as a researcher 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 the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Germany. Robert has a BSc in Psychology (2008) and an MA in Gender Studies (2009), both from the University of Leeds.

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 (published in April 2016).

Repro-sexual intersections: Sperm donation, HIV prevention and the public interest in semenReproductive BioMedicine Online, 30(3), 211-219 (published in December 2014).