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Sociology Research


Dr Robert Pralat is Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow in the Department of Sociology and a member of the Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc). His research combines his interests in sexuality, health, family and gender. He studies how people who, historically, have not been expected to have children – for example, LGBTQ people or people living with HIV – respond to cultural changes and advances in medicine that enable them to become parents. Robert’s research also examines moral judgments about public funding allocation in healthcare.

Robert is Medical Sociology Subject Manager on the multi-disciplinary 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 Sciences (HSPS) Tripos, where he lectures on the Sociology of Gender (SOC10) and Social Problems in Britain (SOC12) papers.

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. Before moving to Cambridge in 2011, he worked for OPM, a London-based independent research organisation, and in the Centre for Sexual Health and HIV Research at University College London.

Research Interests

Robert’s research concerns the changing relationship between sexuality and reproduction, with a specific focus on implications for clinical practice. Using qualitative interviews, he studies how shifting social norms and developments in medical science affect the ways in which people think and talk about having sex and about having children. Robert’s doctorate explored views about different ways of creating families among younger lesbians, gay men and bisexual people in Britain. He was then Chief Investigator on the Men’s Attitudes to Intimate Life (MAIL) study, which examined views about parenthood and childfree living among HIV-positive gay and bisexual men in London. Currently, Robert is researching how different kinds of desire, such as sexual desire and a desire to have a child, affect the demand for various medical technologies.



SOC10: Sociology of Gender

SOC12: Social Problems in Britain

MPhil in Sociology

MPhil in Health, Medicine and Society

Graduate supervision availability and interests:

Robert is currently unavailable to supervise students.

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Pralat, R. (2016). Between future families and families of origin: Talking about gay parenthood across generations. In S. Pooley and K. Qureshi (eds), Parenthood between generations: Transforming reproductive cultures (pp. 43-64). Oxford: Berghahn Books.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Pralat, R. (2019). Parenthood as intended: Reproductive responsibility, moral judgements and having children 'by accident'. The Sociological Review, OnlineFirst.

Pralat, R. (2018). 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.

Pralat, R. (2015). Repro-sexual intersections: Sperm donation, HIV prevention and the public interest in semen. Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 30(3), 211-219.

Grants and Projects

Pralat, R. Leverhulme Trust and Isaac Newton Trust, Technologies of Desire, 01/09/2018 - 31/08/2021.

Pralat, R. British HIV Association (BHIVA), Men's Attitudes to Intimate Life (MAIL), 13/10/2015 - 20/04/2018, £15,750.

Research Groups & Affiliations


Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship 2018
British HIV Association Research Award 2014
Job Title:
Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow