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Associate Professor Deborah Dempsey

Associate Professor, Sociology


Associate Professor Deborah Dempsey is Academic Director Research Training for the School of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities. Deb’s research interests are in the sociology of families, sexuality and health, especially family formation through assisted reproductive technologies, and the personal and social wellbeing of LGBTI people. Deb has published widely on the social aspects of family formation through assisted reproductive technologies and is best known for her work on families created through donor conception and surrogacy in the LGBTI communities. Recent publications include Same-Sex Parented Families in Australia, published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies in 2013; Families, Relationships and Intimate Life, 2nd edition, (with Jo Lindsay) published by Oxford University Press in 2014 and Qualitative Social Research: Contemporary Methods for the Digital Age (with Viv Waller and Karen Farquharson) published by Sage in 2016. Deb is currently researching LGBTI homelessness in Australia, donor linking and the use of onshore clinical fertility services by LGBT Australians.

Research interests


PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Coordinating Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Deb is currently supervising PhD projects on gender and work, family secrets, family formation through surrogacy, wives in family businesses and family values in Vietnamese migrant families: All postgraduate supervision enquiries welcome on topics relating to families, relationships, technologies and well-being.  


Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Sociology - 160800

Teaching areas

Sociology;Genetics and biobanking

Further information



Also published as: Dempsey, Deborah; Dempsey, D.; Dempsey, Deb
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, contact us to update.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2018: Families of Strangers? The socio-legal implications of donor linking *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2017: History of donor-conception records in Victoria *; Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority
  • 2016: LGBT Homelessness project secondary data analysis. *; GALFA funding grant

* Chief Investigator