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Why are baby animals considered "cute"?

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posted on May, 23 2012 @ 04:58 PM
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My friendly philosophers and thinkers,

Today I have been given the privilege of taking care of a two month old German Shepherd puppy. Needless to say, it is 'adorable'. I'm sure you will find that most people (although there is plenty of exceptions) will agree that a baby puppy, and just about any baby animal or mammal, is considered to be cute or adorable. I don't want to sound sexist by generalizing but this seems to be especially so amongst women and girls.

This question is going to seem reasonably 'shallow' and definitely may not have anything to do with nature. It might be more so aimed at the conditioning of human beings.


There has always been the brotherly advice at college that: "if you want a way to try and pick up 'chicks', get a puppy. Because chicks dig puppies."

So, why do females seem to have a higher level of affection for puppies than men? I assume it is because of their motherly instincts. However, you usually hear them (and men too) referring to a baby as being cute based on its looks, rather than its... 'babyness'. Not that babyness isn't cute.

As I have said earlier, most people will generally accept babies as being cute. The only problem with this, however, is that 'cute' is a subjective term. You might have someone who thinks adorableness is what the rest of society would consider 'ugly' or not cute, and then you might have someone who doesn't find anything 'cute', not even these pandas:



Generally though, most people will agree that baby mammals and animals are cute. Baby anything even. Now why is this? Is it because we have been socially conditioned to think this (through non-malevolent means, of course), or is there a more natural reasons?

Could it be not so much about the looks and the 'cuteness' is representative of being young and we know we should be affectionate with babies? Or are we hardwired to think babies are cute so that they can get the nurturing they need and deserve to grow up?

Although, this isn't the way with other species, so I can not seeing it as being a survival skill. However, for humans it almost does seem like the cuteness of a baby adds to its innocence and thusly keeps it loved and protected. Of course, you should love and protect a baby any way, but this isn't always the case.


Sorry if, like I said, this comes off as a loot shallow (being based all about looks) but I was pondering and I would like to hear your all's opinions and why I am wrong.




posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:03 PM
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Studied this in anthropology. It's primarily the flat face. It's a survival characteristic. Mom's have to be attracted to their "adorable" offspring. It crosses species, obviously. In class we had a great time making fun of this wondering what a "cute" brontosaurus would actually look like. It's an anthropological theory, of course, but it is not particularly controversial and, I believe, more or less accepted in anthropological circles.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:04 PM
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Well interesting topic, while I think you already answered a lot of questions yourself perhaps it would be interesting to add that animals generally wouldn't be hostile to baby animals it seems. At least when taken out of the hunting context they seem to care about eachother.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:14 PM
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I think people and animals are "wired" that way....natures plan so we nuture and bond with our babies...

Often people who don't like animals, will not like children either...lol...which is why women are attracted to men that like animals.....



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 


There was a study done on the "awwww" factor. It was found equally in men and women and the simple fact is that what ever elicits that response also triggers the release of feel good hormones. Cute makes us feel good.
Besides dude, why are you even asking. Everybody loves baby animals.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 


i agree with the previous 3 posters...

its a natural thing... one that could determine the fate of the baby... if it looks all cute and cuddly then the mother will nuture and love the baby... whereas if its sick or deformed the mother might be less compelled to look after it, as its not strong and probably wont survive... used to happen with the earlier forms of us and alot of other mammals...
and generally tiny fluffy rolly polly cute things will get the ' aaww's ' going in most of society - especially nowadays



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:35 PM
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reply to post by fluff007
 


Which is why I always say thats the reason God gives you babies when they are small and helpless and cute. If they came as teenagers no one would keep them!



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by ErroneousDylan
 

All reality is, at the deepest level, just the cutest thing imaginable, imho and personal experience. Why, I cannot say, and if I could it would lose it's charm.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:39 PM
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reply to post by karen61057
 


haha that is so true...!
i doubt anyone would ever have a baby if it were born as a teenager..!
i know i certainly wouldnt...


but i do find baby animals far cuter than human babies... especially the really fluffy cuddly ones lol ^.^



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:43 PM
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reply to post by fluff007
 


Big eyes little noses and soft fur. But what about baby birds. They're cute too but not cuddly. Baby mice are not cute. Hairless ewwwy things. but hampsters are . Go figure.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:53 PM
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Originally posted by karen61057
reply to post by fluff007
 


Which is why I always say thats the reason God gives you babies when they are small and helpless and cute. If they came as teenagers no one would keep them!


LOL.....boy is that ever true......lucky for them we already fell in Love with them as babies....



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:55 PM
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There must be more to it than being "cute", or having a flat face.
Animals are affected by this mothering/protecive feelings toward infants of other species than their own.
It is not uncommon to find cross-species adoptions.

www.psywww.com...

daughterearth.com...

When I was growing up we had a toy fox terrier that wanted to mother the baby chicks that we bought.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by OhZone
 


Maternal instincts, powerful stuff.....Paternal instincts pretty wonderful too...♥



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 06:06 PM
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Originally posted by OhZone
There must be more to it than being "cute", or having a flat face.
Animals are affected by this mothering/protecive feelings toward infants of other species than their own.
It is not uncommon to find cross-species adoptions.

www.psywww.com...

daughterearth.com...

When I was growing up we had a toy fox terrier that wanted to mother the baby chicks that we bought.


This is what I am curious about. While I understand that a mother has motherly duties to raise young, it is interesting to find them raising young such as their prey. Like the lioness that raised a baby gazelle (maybe it was a zebra, I forget).

This makes me wonder if the mom is raising another out of instinct and is programmed to just "be a mother", if she is raising a young because she feels pity for it (I highly doubt pity is an emotion among animals), or if she has a natural instinct to protect and preserve all of nature as a whole. Nature is very symbiotic and cyclic. One species dying would effect other species.

However, cases of mothers raising prey are extremely rare and not often enough to effect the direct outcome of a species, nor has science found reasoning behind this. Usually, it is the first case where the mom is using her motherly instincts to just do what she knows best and raise a young. More so than less, the mom usually had either previously failed to raise young or has complications and cannot give a successful birth. Raising another's young would replace the void of parental output she has bottled up inside.

edit on 23-5-2012 by ErroneousDylan because: This text is green.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 10:21 PM
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"We are inherently attracted to a specific set of characteristics, including large, symmetrical heads, large eyes, small mouths and small noses," according to Jeffrey Kurland, associate professor of biological anthropology and human development. But why do almost all humans find this particular set of features so appealing?

Kurland said the answer lies in evolution. According to Darwin, individuals of a given species will exhibit a new trait if that trait provides a survival advantage, boosting an organism's chances of living to see sexual maturity and successfully reproduce. But what does evolutionary fitness have to do with being cute?




Source



edit on 23/5/2012 by 1littlewolf because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 10:32 PM
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I couldn't tell you why, but pretty much all baby animals are cute. I don't think it has anything to do with social conditioning though.

animals.nationalgeographic.com...

Just look at their little faces!!



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 10:58 PM
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Originally posted by fluff007
its a natural thing... one that could determine the fate of the baby... if it looks all cute and cuddly then the mother will nuture and love the baby... whereas if its sick or deformed the mother might be less compelled to look after it, as its not strong and probably wont survive

Doesn't really make sense. Why isn't this still happening now? Why do human mothers now care about their sick and/or deformed child if they never used to? Why would people suddenly develop these modern morals within the last few thousand years?



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 04:14 AM
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reply to post by Xaphan
 





Why isn't this still happening now? Why do human mothers now care about their sick and/or deformed child if they never used to? Why would people suddenly develop these modern morals within the last few thousand years?



because for one society tells us too... if a mother didnt care for a child nowadays due to deformities etc.. then it would be deemed unethical... as now we have the abilities, facilities, technology and medical experience to help these babies survive and be able to live without pain etc...
whereas, thousands of years ago we didnt have all this, so our survival instinct kicks in - it happens with many other animals also, if they dont think their baby will survive then they let it die...

evolutionary wise you wouldnt want to keep those genes in the gene pool, as it would mean that somewhere along the family chain, that p[articular family would at some point diminish...



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 04:19 AM
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"if you want a way to try and pick up 'chicks', get a puppy. Because chicks dig puppies"

Chicks dig puppies but men dig women not "chicks"



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 04:35 AM
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reply to post by fluff007
 

I understand that. What I'm asking is why did these morals suddenly come into play? Did somebody just wake up one day and say "Hey, you over there with the cyclops baby, you better look after that thing, it's your responsibility!"

It almost makes you think... could morals and emotions be our demise as a species? If we keep letting the weak survive and reproduce it will just drag the whole species down eventually. I know it's a terrible thing to say, but it must be true.



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