Are plush toys solely something for children or do they still play a role in youth and adulthood? Do “cuddle differences“ between men and women exist?
Please read the third part of our article series here.
There are many children – girls and boys – who built up a close relationship to their cuddly toy, as decribed in the last article. Some of them virtually owned an entire zoo of plush animals, whereas others very selectively concentrated on a single favourite one. In many situations this cuddly toy was a comforter and guardian for them. They cared for it and looked after it. And it served as a “transition object“ in situations in which the child could become more independant from its actual caregiver. What happens to this relationship, though, when puberty is reached?
The cuddly toy as link between childhood and adulthood
Puberty is interpreted as the time of radical change and disengagement from the close, childlike connection with one's parents. Teenagers want to be treated like adults and therefore quickly banish the toys that are clearly related to childhood from their room. In this context it is striking that the favourite cuddly toy mostly gets to stay. It continues to find a home in the newly arranged room, either on the bed, a shelf, a bedside table or the new sofa. Possibly it once more functions as a “transition object“ accompanying puberty, also sometimes denoted as the “second phase of defiance“.
The physical metamorphosis, the changing relationship towards adults and the demands of society make a lot of teenagers feel insecure and sometimes even afraid. The faithful plush friend is then the ideal companion, especially as this fear wants to be kept from the parents. The cuddly toy can again serve as a listener and comforter. It reminds of happy occasions and careless childhood days, of kind people having made the present and situations experienced and gone through together. It is indeed something that stays.
Here you can download the complete article as a pdf-file.
What is your opinion?
Please take part: Why are cuddly toys more important to girls and women? Is it for biological reasons, for example hormone release or the schema of childlike characteristics? Don't boys and men have the need for cuddly comforters or were they only reared accordingly? Go to the exchange of opinions here.