Review: Modern Families by Susan Golombok


Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms

Susan Golombok


Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781107650251

Price: $29.99

Edition: Paperback

Publication Date: 1st March 2015


Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms is a bold new work on the bold new landscape of today’s family. Family studies and child psychology have seen a recent outpouring of research on new family forms: now for the first time, groundbreaking research on parenting and child development is available in one volume. Modern Families analyzes 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 fertilization (IVF), egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation and surrogacy. The findings not only contest popular myths and assumptions about the social and psychological consequences for children 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. University of Cambridge psychologist Susan Golombok argues that the quality of family relationships and the wider social environment are more influential in and important to children’s psychological development than are the number, gender, sexual orientation, or biological relatedness of their parents or the method of their conception.

My Review

In this book Susan Golombok explores the effects of different family structures on the social and psychological development of children. I can safely say that this book lays to rest the myths surrounding same-sex couples and their children, single parent families, adopted families and all the rest who don’t fit neatly on to the 2.4 children ‘traditional’ nuclear family structure (which never really existed in the first place). This book makes an argument and backs it up with studies from a variety of researchers. It is well written and informative, academic while still being accessible. Well worth reading, especially for child development students, teachers (in general) and politicians..




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