Barbie dolls are sometimes "tortured" by youngsters - who even confess to placing the toy in the microwave.
Barbie dolls have been attacked and even decapitated
Researchers at Bath university found many girls aged seven to 11 subjected dolls to "maiming and decapitation".
"When we asked the groups of junior school children about Barbie, the doll provoked rejection, hatred and violence," said Dr Agnes Nairn.
The feelings were attributed to Barbie being a feminine icon, "plastic" and an unwelcome reminder of their childhood.
Rite of passage
"It's as though disavowing Barbie is a rite of passage and a rejection of their past," said Dr Nairn.
"The types of mutilation are varied and creative and range from removing the hair to decapitation, burning, breaking and even microwaving."
The findings were part of research into children's attitudes towards marketing and branded goods.
Dr Nairn said many children were found to be more engaged by celebrities than toys.
"We were surprised to find that the most resonant discussions among the children did not centre around toys and games, but on sports celebrities, pop stars and TV shows."