Anonymous asked in Social ScienceGender Studies · 1 decade ago

Are some women healing childhood emotional disappointments by projecting excessive indulgence onto small pets?

Is there a deeper meaning in the attachments some women have to their small pets, by engaging in extremely permissive behavior with them? As though they can make up for the attention they didn't receive as young girls, by granting attention in excessive amounts to their pets. Are these pets the vicarious representatives of the broken child?

Shingoshi Dao

2007.Nov.17 Sat, 18:32 --800 (PST)


Would you please draw as many as possible into this conversation, PLEASE!

Update 2:

Does it really seem to you that someone like Paris Hilton is motivated by maternal instincts? Given the larger context of her public activities, is there real evidence to support such an assessment?

Update 3:

Is this conversation worthy of promotion through your stars?

Update 4:


I merely referred to her in response to someone's answer in which her name was given.


Update 5:


Thank you!!

I just couldn't stop laughing from your response. So what does it say about me that I once had 22 lizards wandering freely about my home?

I wonder?

Update 6:

Yes, I was speaking specifically of behaviors like projecting human identities onto those pets. Made apparent by dressing them up and never engaging in any real form discipline for their misconduct. Essentially treating the pet as a replacement for the child they were not allowed to be for whatever reason.

And in reply to another question based entirely on my own, power tools are not living creatures, capable of responding to their owner as a pet would. Hence the psychological mechanism is entirely different.

Update 7:

I wasn't making an attack...

Read my edit about the 22 lizards in my house, and I wasn't concerned about linoleum floors. Talk about free range! When the first one died, I cried all day. And yes, I was a grown man then. And the most peculiar thing of all, is that I had always been afraid of dead animals. Yet for that entire day, all I could do was sit and hold what I thought was the dead body of my beloved lizard. He was my first. And I realized I had been granted a gift not possessed before. I was no longer as afraid of carcases.

So, there was no judgment here. I am asking about unhealthy relationships some do form, and are not beneficial to the pet at all.

Update 8:


At what point does this relationship cross the line from love to addiction. I was inspired to write this based on a friend who has three children. At the time, one was preparing to get married, leaving her with only two at home. Now this friend and I had a very close relationship though not as lovers. So there was very little we each didn't know about the other. And I know for a fact that she grew up in an excessively dysfunctional family. And there was little she wasn't denied.

She got one of these small dogs, and her behavior with it was nothing less than absurd. That is, unless you knew her background as a child. Then it could make perfect sense. So that is why this question was posted. And for someone else here, this question was by no means meant to be sexist. As we all know, the behaviors of men and women are not alike in many cases. And some things don't change regardless of sexual preferences. I am just wondering since it is more acceptable for women.

Update 9:

I am offering you the opportunity to ask questions like this a moderated group. This group will be closed and monitored to eliminate the kind of indecent exchanges that have become so common here.


Your host,

Shingoshi Dao



16 Answers

  • Best Answer

    I raised two chickens from the time they were little babies until they passed away. For the first six months of their lives, they lived inside the house with me. They had special accomodations- and a heat light, and they had lots of attention. I grew attached to them almost immediately. It was very hard for me to move them outside. I built them a chicken coop that took up half of our back yard space, and the heighth of it was taller than I, so that they would have lots and lots of room. I also built them a wooden chicken house (inside the coop) so that they'd have a place to go to when it was cold or rainy. They were my babies. During the summer they had free reign of the backyard. When I came out to feed them they would squawk and come running to me. I often went outside just to visit them. They made me laugh. They would sleep pressed up against the glass sliding door that led into my kitchen- just to be as "close" to me as the could be. They always wanted to be inside the house with me! There were times I let them in (only in the kitchen on the!) Other times they snuck in (if someone left the door open) time I found one of them perched inside a large plant container in my living room. She was sitting absolutely still so as not to be! Once, a neighbor's dog got into my backyard and bit one of my chickens, tearing her tail feathers off ...I found her by following the trail of blood that led to a pile of wood that she had tried to hide herself under. She was shaking. I was crying. It was horrible. It was apparent she'd been hiding there for some time. I called to her to come out. She came out, and came over to me. She let me examine her injury, and for the longest time I sat there with her and pet her...soothing her until she stopped shaking. She survived the injury. About a year later, a raccoon attacked my other chicken. She wasn't so lucky. I tried to save her life. I kept her inside the house for four days, disinfected her wounds (they were deep)....she could hardly stay awake. I sang to her to keep her awake....I fed her with a spoon because she would not eat or drink on her own. When she went into convulsions and died on the fourth day, I cried for hours. I don't care if anyone out there thinks I'm crazy for having a deep attachment to my pets. They were my friends. They made me smile. They loved me. I loved them.

    Is there a deeper meaning here? Of course there is. Anyone who's ever loved an animal/pet will tell you that animal has a soul, a personality...that the relationship is as precious as any that could be formed with humans. To love is not the product of a "broken child", to love means you have the capacity to feel love. It's just that simple.

    Source(s): Well, there is one example I can think of that might go along well with your question. My mother has three little Bishon terriors (all related), and she spoils them to death. They wreak havoc on the house....they pee on everything...they chew up everything..they bark constantly (at nothing)...two of them are biters. My mother allows this behavior and does nothing to stop it. No one likes her dogs. Including! And in thinking about this, I realized something that may be coincidental, or it may, in fact, be relevant: my mother also had three children (all of us now adults)...but when we were kids she was never around. She worked full time...we were "latch key kids." We were left to fend for ourselves. We were anything but spoiled. My mom and step dad were alcoholics, too...they'd get off of work and head to the nearest bar until late every single night of the week. Perhaps my mother feels some guilt for how we were left to raise ourselves...I've often wondered this. It could be that she is projecting her guilt for how we (kids) were raised by over-indulging her three dogs in every way. It could be!
  • 1 decade ago

    I project my maternal instinct into my two old mutt dogs. One really a small one, but the smaller of them all is a turtle that have been with me for ages.

    I don't heal my childhood with them, I grew up with pets since a child so it is natural for me to have pets now as a woman. I love animals, I always did. I actually enrolled to be a veterinarian course, although theatre was taking to much time (lol). Later I enrolled into a long distance course for a veterinarian assistant, again I didn't finish because of theatre (lol)

    Nevertheless, my relationship with animals are the bond I have to everything that is this earth, us humans are not the only ones, and it is amazing to have this wonderful conversations with other species, that juts as us have all the right to be here :-)

    Hope I am clear, I just finish (by accident) a whole bottle of wine ;-)

    Edit: I just saw you mentioned Paris Hilton, sorry I never read about her, I find her uninteresting

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This is an audacious question. Where in the world did you get such an absurd idea from? Doting on a favored pet is just that--loving and enjoying a creature....projecting in some cases the maternal instinct onto the animal yes but that is all.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I saw a show on National Geo a while back where they had a prison rehab program where the men fostered puppies, kittens and even parrakeet's until an owner could be found. Women also trained seeing eye dogs. The men and women both said it was therapeutic. Just today I saw a man walking a dog that looked like it weighed about four pounds or so. So I guess it works with both genders. Personally, I think women who dress up those little dogs and treat them babies are rather ridiculous.

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  • 1 decade ago

    the only three situations i've known of personally and fairly long term, i would have to say, is as you mention treating a pet as a replacement for a child. But these women being in their 30's, never married, or near to a close relationship, i thought of it more to be a sad replacement of the family they never had or would have. Thinking about it in your terms, i guess it very well could be as you say, the child they were never allow to be.

  • 1 decade ago

    As a women who owns a small dog, a maltese, I would say in my case no. I had a wonderful childhood and still love being a "daddy's girl" ( he'll be 80 in March).

    Being a parent of 2 grown sons, and a pet parent, the love you experience is different, but still strong. No pet would or could take the place of my child, but in a sense, my pet (Tess), is very much like my child. She depends on me to love and take care of her, and she in turn, loves me and comforts me unconditionally. That is not to say that some people go to extremes when it comes to their pets, but the unconditional love you receive from your pet is great and it is easy to spoil them!

    I just wish I had bought stock in Petco when they first came onto the market! Talk about going to the dogs!

  • 1 decade ago

    Doubtless true, but everyone needs to find some way to heal.

    Men also indulge animals, and often say things like they would trust an animal more than a human.

    There are lots of manifestations of the broken child in our society, probably in all societies, and over-indulging pets is one of the more accessible and socially sanctioned.

    Cheers :-)

  • Are some men compensating for the small size of their johnson's by driving huge trucks and SUV's?

    It's simple-some women are pet lovers & some men like to drive big cars. Can't we all just have our own preferences without people reading in to them.

    As Sigmund Freud said "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

  • 1 decade ago

    That would probably be the reason for Paris Hilton owning multiple purse-sized dogs.

    EDIT: There's never been any evidence that she has any maternal instincts, but you never really know — most of the people who know her name have never actually met her.

  • zen
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Is that a full blown sexist question?Ya wanna know if having small pets compensates???Just because I have 5 cats, 6 birds, 3 rats, two turtles, 4 toads, a newt, and a tarantula!!!!!!....well, maybe...

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I honestly don't think there is a deeper meaning to anything Paris Hilton ever does or says.

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