Why men want to hurt cute women

I have long noticed this phenomenon:

Cuteness inspired aggression is widespread“.

“An aggressive response to cuteness, it appears, [is] “completely normal.””

I think it also applies to men when they see a cute woman.

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15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Alan K on July 29, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Seriously? I had never heard anything like this before. And more proof that I’m abnormal. Great…

    Any chance that the data is being misinterpreted?

    Reply

    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on July 29, 2014 at 3:10 am

      The original study is discussed at the link provided.

      The psychologists say that people feel a mixture of fondness and aggression towards cute things, such as pets. I am saying that men may feel something similar for cute women.

      Reply

      • Posted by Alan K on July 29, 2014 at 11:56 am

        “The psychologists say…”

        Well, then there can be little doubt, I suppose. If we don’t automatically bow to their expertise, a few other (off the cuff) interpretations soon offer themselves:
        1. A (supposed) aggressive reflex could indicate a naturally protective instinct as opposed to an urge to deface, torment or damage.
        2. The obvious sexual dynamic (at least with men/women, boys/girls) that prompts teasing and testing.
        3. An absolute boredom with cute/fuzzy things that leaves pent up energy with no place to go. This aligns most closely with their proffered conclusion, but it seems a bit thin.

        Just saying that there are many other explanations and interpretations of the same data. Buyer beware.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on July 29, 2014 at 12:38 pm

        Well, interpretations are always where the fun begins with this kind of observation. The reason I favour their suggestion is that it accords with my own self-awareness. I know exactly that feeling of finding something so damn cute that you just want to squeeze it half to death.

        Incidentally, I just found this:

        http://mister-mean-spirited.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/eroticism-is-all-about-humiliating.html

        I think this is well beyond the sort of playful domination that I would say is normal. I do think a man wants to have an effect on a woman, but I don’t think he normally wants to seriously hurt or demean her. To take the example given, semen is not “biological waste”. That is just rhetoric, as is the whole short essay.

  2. I’m not much inclined to buy the results of a single study about anything, esp a psychological study and esp one that goes against everything I have ever heard, or heck, felt.

    Speaking as a man, why would I want to destroy cuteness? While cute is NOT sexy, often many women combine a mixture of both, and I would certainly not want to ruin that by striking them with a fist or something (unless self defense or they are utter evil) nor have I ever felt jealousy (unlike, say another woman might) when looking at a sexy girl, or a cute (but so ‘cute’ she’s not sexy like someone with extremely small breasts and large eyes)girl. And I like to pat little girl or boy children (in the 3 to 7 year range) on the head, I do not dream of destroying them.

    So what gives? And please don’t conflate our spanking stuff with aggression as
    A. Most of that would be consensual
    B. It’s at least partly connected to sex
    C. A red bottom is not the end of the cute, let alone the world.

    I’m scratching my head at this. Do you have any ideas?

    Reply

  3. I will say that of course stuff like “Hello Kitty” triggers my man ‘gag’ reflex and I often like to see photoshops making fun of it, even if part of the fun is destroying it somehow. But I’ve literally never felt an aggressive impulse towards any ‘cute kitties’ or ‘cute’ babies or anything like that. I might make fun of cutesy stuff, but I have never felt anger or hate when seeing something like a ‘fluffy bunny’. So does that mean I’m abnormal? I thought our job was to protect cute. 😦

    Reply

    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on July 29, 2014 at 9:01 am

      I think the study simply demonstrates what I have observed in myself and others. That cute pets provoke a desire to somehow tease and discommode them. There is something very provoking about their perfection that makes one feel a mixture of affection and aggression.

      It is a mixture of emotions. Similarly with cute women. A mixture of an affectionate desire to stroke and caress and a desire to tease and (mildly) hurt them. There is something about the neotenic appearance of young women in particular which provokes a mild sadism. Something like a desire to dip a girl’s pigtails in ink (as in the olden days) or to pinch, or flick with a beach towel, for example.

      I suspect it is behind a lot of the teasing of young women by young men.

      I should stress this is not the same as a desire to assault or rape. There is a line which is not normally crossed.

      Your remarks, Clarence, about Hello Kitty suggest that you do have the impulse to some degree.

      Reply

  4. Ahh, thanks Julian. That makes much more sense, though some would take such minor pranks (which are only slightly mean at worst) as evidence of hostility. Indeed, I wouldn’t put a pull a prank I didn’t think would get a laugh or a giggle or at worst a blush. And yes, cute things seem to bring out both the prankish and fatherish instincts in me. I once put a cat in the dryer for instance. But I carefully timed it for only ten seconds so that kitty came out with fluffy fur, none the worse for wear.

    Reply

  5. A bit off-topic but you might enjoy this. Warning it is slightly risque but then, so is your blog: http://www.collegehumor.com/post/6982708/15-people-doing-inappropriate-things-to-innocent-statues#!bp6SKV

    Reply

    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on July 29, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      Yes, my blog can be slightly risque, and this does bother me sometimes as that is not my intent. I actually took down a couple of old posts recently because they were attracting the wrong kind of attention.

      Reply

  6. “Why men want to hurt cute women”

    Nature is funny like that, the yin and yang of life. Women are happiest being submissive, men likewise happiest being dominant.

    Reply

    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on November 28, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      I want to stress – because unfortunately this is essential these days – that I meant mildly tease. Not seriously injure.

      I remember quite a good article by a psychologist in which he distinguished between a man’s normal desire for mild displays of domination (leading a woman on the dance floor was one example he gave) and psychopathic violence.

      As for APL’s remark, I think it is generally true, although there are exceptions. I think women are mostly happiest in a mild patriarchy, both familial and social.

      Reply

  7. Posted by APL on November 29, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    JoD: “– that I meant mildly tease.”

    And why I used the term submissive rather than the phrase beaten into submission.

    Reply

    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on November 29, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      Yes, most women will submit to the right man whom she can she respect. But it is a decision on her part.

      Reply

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