14/08/2014 16:54 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Stay At Home Mums Face Prejudice Akin To Racism And Sexism, Says Academic

toddler hanging on to mother's dress

Mums are facing prejudice akin to racism and sexism if they choose to stay home and raise their children.

This is the view of an academic who says 'motherism' is a damaging, unspoken-about epidemic which must be treated seriously.

Dr Aric Sigman says that stay-at-home mums face the assumption from other people that they are lazy, stupid and unattractive.

Speaking to a conference organised by the Mothers At Home Matter group, Dr Sigman said the rise of prejudice against SAHMs had helped make it socially unacceptable to argue that children benefit from 'full-time' parenting.

"You should take on 'motherism' - the prejudice against stay-at-home mothers - a prejudice that expresses itself in derogatory clichés like: 'You gain a baby and lose a brain' and comments that refer to 'schoolgate mother mentality', or to being 'willingly self-lobotomised'", he said.

The father-of-four continued: "The implication is that by being a full-time mother you are 'subjugated and servile' and even sexually unattractive once you are a mother - a quality only associated with women who return to work with their high heels and clipboards."

Dr Sigman said that 'motherhood must not hide its light under a bushel' and that 'greater maternal contact' especially during infancy, is greatly advantageous to the child.

"Society must be asked why this could possibly be construed as contentious," he said.

The Telegraph reports Mothers At Home Matter has campaigned against taxpayer-funded child care support for parents who both work, and recently pulled up Chancellor George Osborne over his remark that being a full-time mother was a 'lifestyle choice'.

What do you think? Stay at home mothers, is this your experience?