The Open UniversitySkip to content

Unsettling lesbian motherhood: Critical reflections over a generation (1990-2015)

Gabb, Jacqui (2018). Unsettling lesbian motherhood: Critical reflections over a generation (1990-2015). Sexualities, 21(7) pp. 1002–1020.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (242kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This article explores how advancements in equality rights combine with attitudinal changes in UK society and LGBTQ communities to impact on the experience of lesbian mothers over a generation. The author reflects on ordinary moments where sexuality and relationships become meaningful and situate emotions at the heart of analytical enquiry because it is through emotional interactions that micro–macro networks of relations intersect. Autobiography is combined with original data from empirical research to provide analytical entry points, which aims to advance understanding and also facilitate reflection on how we understand and come to know queer parenthood. Whilst there are now many routes into lesbian motherhood and the stigma of queer kinship is diminishing, this article demonstrates the need to problematize the prevailing narratives of coupledom that are emerging and tease apart the conflation of temporal progression, progressive rights and narratives of progress.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 The Author
ISSN: 1461-7382
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Enduring Love? Understanding Long-term Adult Couple Relationships in Contemporary Britain. (D-10-021-JG)ES/I021507/1ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
Keywords: lesbian motherhood; queer families; coupledom; emotions; autoethnography
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Social Policy and Criminology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: Health and Wellbeing PRA (Priority Research Area)
Item ID: 49574
Depositing User: Jacqui Gabb
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2017 13:33
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2020 11:09
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU