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University Of Cambridge Mill Lane Lecture Halls
1 Mill Lane, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Professor Susan Golombok summarises research on parenting and child development in new family forms including lesbian mother families, gay father families, families headed by single mothers by choice and families created by assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation, and surrogacy.
These new family forms represent a more fundamental shift away from the traditional family than do non-traditional families formed through relationship breakdown and reformation. The research will be examined in the context of the issues and concerns that have been raised regarding these families. The findings not only contest popular myths and assumptions about the social and psychological consequences for children of being raised in new family forms but also challenge well-established theories of child development that are founded upon the supremacy of the traditional family.
It will be argued that the quality of family relationships and the wider social environment are more influential in children’s psychological development than are the number, gender, sexual orientation or biological relatedness of their parents or the method of their conception. The talk is be based on Susan Golombok’s recent book, Modern Families: Parents and children in new family forms.
Susan Golombok is Professor of Family Research and Director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge. She is also a Professorial Fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge. In addition to more than 300 academic papers, she is the author of Parenting: What really counts? and co-author of Bottling it Up, Gender Development, Modern Psychometrics and Growing up in a Lesbian Family. Her most recent book is Modern Families: Parents and children in new family forms published by Cambridge University Press in 2015. Modern Families won the British Psychological Society 2016 Book Prize and an Honourable Mention in the US PROSE Awards 2016.
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