Academics in the United Kingdom are urging the government to change its guideline against women drinking during pregnancy, arguing the rule against drinking could cause “needless anxiety” and perpetuate sexism.
The Telegraph reports experts at the University of Kent and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service claim government guidelines against drinking during pregnancy are “alarmist” and “stigmatizing.”
Ellie Lee, the director of the Centre of Parenting Culture Studies at the University of Kent, said the “exclusion of women from an ordinary activity on the basis of a precaution” was “sexist” toward women.
Although Lee allegedly said it was “impossible” to determine the level of alcohol consumption that is considered safe during pregnancy, she urged against advising women from abstaining from drinking in general because of the stigma associated with it.
“Public discourse has become very hostile and there is now an assumption that a pregnant woman holding a glass of wine is doing something absolutely wrong,” she said.
“Women are being accosted, spoken to and stared at in public,” she added. “People assume that just because you have had one drink, you’ve had a bottle of vodka for breakfast.”
Clare Murphy, the director of external affairs for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said there are consequences to “overstating evidence” or implying there's “certainty when there isn’t any.”