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Title: Understanding the lack of equality and diversity in the parenting population
Author: Pinkard, Christine
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 3729
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2016
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Despite great advances in the acceptability of diverse family forms, strong social norms that parents are typically nondisabled opposite-sex couples still prevail. Parenthood rates are low among those who deviate from this social norm, including disabled people, gay men and lesbians. These individuals are referred to collectively as non-normative groups. Parenthood rates are also low among those who cannot take the normative route to parenthood and require medically assisted reproduction, such as cancer survivors. These individuals were also classified as non-normative groups. Little is known about the reproductive decisions of these populations. The five studies presented in this thesis aimed to explore the causes and consequences of the lack of diversity in the parenting population. Current parenthood rates in the UK at age 42 were assessed using a large representative dataset. Non-normative groups were at least twice as likely to be childless as the rest of the sample. Being childless was also found to have a negative impact on life satisfaction at age 42 regardless of whether participants belonged to a non-normative group. Current discourse on equality and diversity should tackle the question of whether steps should be taken to reduce the inequality in parenthood opportunities. A systematic review and a study focusing on disabled people highlighted several barriers to parenthood that affect most non-normative groups. These include negative societal attitudes, poor perceived parenting skills and financial problems. One potential reason for the low parenthood rates among cancer survivors was explored further, that physicians may be less likely to discuss options to safeguard fertility with patients who are gay or single. However, the intentions of medical students were found to be unaffected by patient characteristics, although traditional family values were associated with self-reported bias.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology