BBC presenter John Humphrys has sparked controversy after claiming women are better than men at looking after babies.
The veteran Radio 4 host, 75, argued that promoting the idea of women being good carers was “good for society” during a discussion on new gender stereotyping rules for adverts.
Interviewing a representative of the Advertising Standards Authority, Humphrys said: “A woman looking after a baby is, by any estimate, a very, very good and desirable thing for society.
He added that “by and large they do a better job of it than men, at least in most of our experience, I would have thought.”
“To whom is it causing harm if you show a woman sitting next to a baby in a pram? Lots of women sit next to babies in prams. How does this sort of advertising harm people?”
‘Belongs in a different century’
John Humphrys has hosted the Today programme for 32 years (Photo: Getty)
Jessica Tye, from ASA, defended the decision and said it could lead girls to believe their only job is to be a caregiver.
Green Party MEP Molly Scott-Cato criticised the comments, saying: “Can all men who care for their children please let John Humphrys know that they do this in a way just as loving and skilful as women?”
Can all men who care for their children please let John Humphrys know that they do this in a way just as loving and skilful as women?
— Molly Scott Cato MEP (@MollyMEP) August 14, 2019
Marketing executive Mike Richards wrote on Twitter: “John Humphrys doing his level best to sound like he belongs in a different century this morning.
“It’s not about one poster stereotyping women, it’s about girls growing up in an environment where so very much of what they see, hear and experience stereotypes women.”
John Humphrys doing his level best to sound like he belongs in a different century this morning. It’s not about one poster stereotyping women, it’s about girls growing up in an environment where so very much of what they see, hear and experience stereotypes women. #R4today
— Mike Richards (@Loogiburoogi) August 14, 2019
Gender stereotype rules
The adverts have been banned following complaints about sexist content.
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One ad for Philadelphia cheese was banned for showing “hapless” fathers accidentally leaving a baby on a restaurant conveyor belt.
Another by Volkswagen had an advert axed for showing men going on adventures while a woman sat next to a pram.
Humphrys has already announced he plans to quit the Today programme after 32 years on the programme.