You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
The Neoteny Barrier: Seeking Respect for the Non-Cute
Mark J. Estren
Journal of Animal Ethics
Vol. 2, No. 1 (Spring 2012), pp. 6-11
Published by: University of Illinois Press in partnership with the Ferrater Mora Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/janimalethics.2.1.0006
Page Count: 6
Preview not available
A foundational human attraction to mammalian neoteny may be crucial for preservation of our own species, but it can be counterproductive in relationships between humans and other animals. The deeply rooted human psychological attraction to and preference for anthropomorphically viewed neotenic characteristics explains why some animals, whether endangered or not, receive far more public attention and scientific study than others. An understanding of the neoteny barrier makes it possible to find ways around it: The barrier may not be possible to break, but it can be modified by scientific awareness of its existence and an alteration of public perception of value to include animals who would not, in neotenic terms, be considered cute.
Copyright 2012 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois