Why Do I Want To Squeeze Cute Things?

Many people experience a strong urge to squeeze or hug cute animals or babies. This behavior, known as “cute aggression,” can be confusing and even alarming for some individuals. In this article, we will explore the science behind this phenomenon and why some people experience this urge.

Cute Aggression

Cute aggression is a term coined by psychologists who have studied the phenomenon of wanting to squeeze or harm something cute. The term is used to describe the conflicting emotions of wanting to care for something cute while also experiencing the urge to harm it.

Studies have shown that this behavior is more common among women and is not necessarily linked to aggression towards others. The behavior is also more common in response to pictures of cute animals or babies than in real-life situations.

Emotional Regulation

One theory behind the urge to squeeze cute things is related to emotional regulation. Cute animals and babies can evoke strong emotions, such as love and happiness, which can be overwhelming for some individuals. The act of squeezing or pinching may be a way to regulate these emotions and provide a release of tension.

Studies have found that individuals who experience cute aggression have a higher level of emotional arousal when viewing cute images. This suggests that the behavior may be a way to manage these intense emotions.

Brain Responses

Neuroscience research has also shed light on the reasons behind the urge to squeeze cute things. Studies have shown that when viewing cute images, there is an increase in activity in the reward centers of the brain, such as the nucleus accumbens. This increase in activity is similar to the brain’s response to other pleasurable stimuli, such as food or sex.

However, there is also an increase in activity in the brain’s amygdala, which is responsible for processing emotions such as fear and anxiety. This suggests that the urge to squeeze or harm something cute may be a way to balance out the intense emotional response to cute images.

Evolutionary Roots

Another theory behind the urge to squeeze cute things is related to evolutionary biology. Cute animals and babies often have large eyes, round faces, and soft features, which are characteristics that trigger nurturing instincts in humans. This instinct may have evolved as a way to ensure the survival of offspring and increase the likelihood of reproduction.

However, as humans have evolved, the nurturing instinct may have become more complex, leading to conflicting emotions when encountering something cute. The urge to squeeze or harm something cute may be a way to express this complex emotional response.


In conclusion, the urge to squeeze or harm cute things is a complex phenomenon that has been studied by psychologists and neuroscientists. While it may be confusing or alarming for some individuals, it is a normal response to the intense emotions triggered by cute animals and babies. By understanding the science behind cute aggression, we can better understand our own emotional responses and how to manage them in a healthy way.

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