Families beyond heteronormativity

When a lesbian couple decide that they want to start a family and have children, they embark on an exciting journey. Sharing parenthood in a same-sex relationship means unique experience of family life. When encountering the surrounding society, couples often meet positive and curious others, but often also face heteronormative prejudice.

My research area is lesbian families. In my doctoral thesis I explore experiences of family making in Swedish lesbian families. Since 2003 both partners in a same sex couple can achieve legal status as parents of their children. Additionally, lesbian couples have access to donor insemination and IVF within the Swedish healthcare system since 2005. My aim is to provide knowledge about family making within these new possibilities. Parents in about 80 families, alongside with 12 children, have shared their reflection on family making through interviews. I show that most lesbian parents are happy with their experience of becoming parents as two mothers. However, most of them have also experienced prejudice or uniformed professionals, often in healthcare. When encountering deficient treatment most parents tend to minimize the issue. I also show in my thesis that lesbian parents generally share high egalitarian values and tend to divide childcare and parental leave more evenly than do different-sex couples. 

I mainly teach at the Psychologist programme and other courses in psychology and behavioural sciences. My teaching areas are mostly related to my research interests: gender psychology, lgbtq psychology and qualitative methods. I give lectures, lead seminars, assess exams and other student tasks and develop new course tasks. I have also co-supervised several master thesis focusing gender psychology and/or lgbtq-issues. I have finished the courses “Teaching in Higher Education” and “Course design, Examination and Evaluation”.

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