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ARP survey finds nearly 1 in 4 furs identify as bronies

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The latest roundup of results from the Anthropomorphic Research Project uses 1065 surveys taken at Anthrocon 2012, 802 online non-furry participants, and data from six prior studies.

Many findings revolved around the involvement of bronies in furry fandom:

  • The 23.5% of furries also identifying as bronies did not significantly differ from other furries in most respects; they reported greater experience of bullying, slightly worse physical health, and appeared to have a slightly less-formed sense of identity
  • Bronies in furry fandom had been part of the fandom for longer than the average fur
  • Furries who thought bronies were also furries had a higher opinion of them; some furs dismissed them as obnoxious, a fad, or immature, or had problems with specific bronies

In addition, the larger non-furry sample made it possible to make several general findings:

  • Furries tend to be more liberal and 'global citizens' than non-furs; most are not religious
  • Furries know more about animals ... but could occasionally be over-confident about it
  • Furries were three times less likely to consider themselves exclusively heterosexual than non-furries, four to five times more likely to say they were exclusively homosexual, and far more likely to report bisexuality or orientations such as pansexuality or asexuality
  • Furries reported a greater history of physical and verbal bullying than non-furries
  • Furries did not differ significantly to American non-furs with regard to psychological or relationship health, or self-esteem, but had a more-developed sense of self and identity

The analysis also refined earlier findings about therians, identified popular furry websites and artists, and introduced a scale to distinguish between "healthy fantasy engagement" (which furs had significantly more of than non-furs) and "unhealthy fantasy" (which they did not).

Bronies in furry fandom; prevalence, acceptance and distinctiveness

Rating of bronies by furries and fellow broniesViews of bronies among furry fans differed significantly. On a 0-100 scale, just over 20% of non-brony furries rated bronies 0-20 (most of those 0), with most others giving neutral or mildly positive ratings. Conversely, of the 23.5% of furries who identify as bronies themselves, fewer than 5% gave negative ratings; about 25% felt neutrally about their fellows, and the rest were positive (with 45% in the top quintile).

Those who didn't like bronies gave a variety of reasons; 17.4% thought them obnoxious, while others felt they were just not the same of furries (15.0%), had a general dislike for them (13.0%), disliked specific bronies rather than the culture (12.3%), or felt MLP was unimaginative/a fad/shallow/one-dimensional (11.9%) or silly/dumb/immature (11.5%).

Crucially, furries differed as to whether bronies were part of furry fandom to begin with – 50% saw bronies as part of/a subset of furry, while 22% claimed no overlap between the groups. According to the research team:

[...] regression analysis revealed a significant positive relationship between the extent to which a person considered bronies to be a part of the furry fandom and the positivity they felt toward bronies (Beta = .28, p < .001)

The popular theory that bronies are "new furries" was not proven; the average brony reported having been a furry for longer than non-bronies (9.4 vs. 8.3, p=.03) and having become a furry at a younger age (16.4 vs. 17.4, p=.03).

Researchers found only a few differences between furries identifying as bronies and those who did not:

  • slightly worse physical health than furry non-bronies, 4.60 v.s. 4.86 on a seven point scale, p=.005)
  • a slightly less-formed sense of identity (4.22 vs. 4.32 on a six point scale, p=.05), and
  • greater reported experience of bullying (2.85 vs. 2.71 on a four point scale, p=.04)

The latter was reported most prominently during age 19-24. The research team suggested that this was due to self-identification as bronies.

Furry bronies were not significantly different to non-bronies in age or sex, or in their identification as a furry, with other furries, or with their fursona species. They were not more likely to think that they were "more than 100% human", or to want to be "0% human". In addition:

Furries and bronies held the furry community in equally high regard. They were also equally likely to consider their fursonas to be representative of themselves. [...] there were no differences in sexual orientation, relationship status, relationship satisfaction or education level [...] Finally, furries and bronies did not differ in terms of their psychological well-being or self-esteem.

These results may not represent bronies outside of furry fandom; in the Brony Study, 84% of bronies described themselves as heterosexual.

Sexual orientation, fantasy, bullying and mental health

Sexual orientation of furries and non-furriesFurries are far less likely to report being "exclusively heterosexual" than non-furries (~25% vs. 80%), though it was still the most popular choice on the Kinsey scale. They are four to five times more likely to consider themselves exclusively homosexual (~14% vs. 3%), are much more likely to report a level of bisexuality, and are more than six times as likely to report "other" orientations, such as pansexual or asexual (15.0% vs. 2.4%).

On a custom scale distinguishing functional vs. pathological fantasy, identification with furry fandom predicted "healthy fantasy engagement" (5.40 vs. 4.56 on a 7-point scale, p<.001), but not pathological fantasy (2.62 vs. 2.44, p>.05). Functional fantasy was:

[...] associated with a healthier and more developed sense of stable identity, more psychological well-being and a greater sense of global citizenship [...] decreased pathological fantasy is associated with healthier relationships and higher self-esteem.

Researcher Courtney "Nuka" Plante, who developed the scale, expressed the intention to use it to evaluate other fantasy-related groups.

Reported bullying at age
Furries
Non-furs
4–10
48.3% 37.1%
11–18 61.7% 39.2%
19–24 15.1% 10.2%

Increased furry involvement also predicted "greater perspective-taking and empathy", echoing results from 2009.

Furries were more likely than non-furs to report experiencing physical and social/verbal bullying (both p<.001); especially while age 11-18, when a majority reported being bullied. Bullying as a factor in development of identity and engagement in furry fandom as ameliorating effect is to be a subject of future research.

Furries did not differ significantly from "the average American" on measures of self-esteem, psychological health or the health of their relationships. However, they did differ when it came to well-being and adjustment; furries "had a better sense of coherent identity and a more-developed sense of self" (4.31 vs. 4.15 on a six point scale; p<.001).

Furry therians and their animal connections

Therians were identified as those who "experience a deeply-felt connection to an animal species"; about one in five of furries claimed to be one. The vast majority of therians surveyed [in the context of a furry survey] also identified as furries, and 20-40% also self-identified as otherkin.

The difference between furries generally and therians is clearest when looking at beliefs/desires relating to their level of humanity:

Therians are about two and a half times more likely than furries to consider themselves less than 100% human (both physically and mentally), and about one and a half times as likely to report wanting to be 0% human if they could.

Theirans appear indistinguishable to furries with respect to psychological well-being, self-esteem, identity, physical health or fantasy measures, but have different beliefs with respect to their species, feeling that it is a deeper part of their being with which they more strongly identify. Therians are also less likely than the average fur to describe their interest in anthropomorphism and their associated species as a choice.

Religion and spirituality, social responsibility, general demographics and animal trivia

Religious affiliationMany furries denied any religious affiliation, with a mean score of 2.51 on a seven-point scale (1="not at all", 7="very much"). A full 44% described themselves as atheist, and another 9-10% agnostic, with just 23% reporting themselves as Christian. Furries were more likely to report general spiritual feelings, but even here the mean response was just over the mid-point of the scale (4.09).

Furries made $31,772 a year on average – not statistically different to non-furs – and had a level of parental education "approximately equivalent" to that of the control group.

Furries were more liberal-minded than non-furries (5.04 vs. 4.59 on a seven-point scale), and more inclined to act as "global citizens" (5.16 vs. 4.98; both p<.001) - a mixture of social responsibility, competence in global matters, and global civic engagement.

Furries are still predominantly male, and do not appear to be reproducing yet; just 3.8% reported at least one child. Convention-going furs were older than furs surveyed online.

Popular websites Popular artists
Fur Affinity Blotch
SoFurry Dark Natasha
e621 Wolfy-Nail
deviantART Jay Naylor
Inkbunny Zen
fchan Red Rusker
WikiFur TaniDaReal
Funday PawPet Show Rukis
Bad Dragon Kyell Gold
F-list Narse

In general, subjects reported having been a furry for between 6.5-8.5 years, typically deciding that they were one between age 16-17. Initial community participation tended to be around 17-19.

Identifying as a furry and with ones fursona species were highly correlated. Identifying with other furries is slightly less related to both of these factors – especially when it comes to species – and overall furs seem slightly more reluctant to identify 100% with other furries.

Furries were three to six times more likely to believe they are "less than 100% human" (30-35%; but only 8-14% of this subset felt physically less human) or "human with additions". Between a third and a half would be "0% human" if they could – five times more than non-furries.

Furries beat non-furs on a 33-item animal trivia quiz in which a right answer scored one point, a wrong answer deducted one point, and a pass had no effect (mean 11.5 vs. 8.9, t(1666) = 8.02, p=.001). Furries triumphed on 22 questions, but overconfidence caused lower results on three which few non-furs attempted. A planned longitudinal study may identify whether fandom participation increases animal knowledge, or whether those with greater knowledge are drawn to the fandom.

Illustrations courtesy Anthropomorphic Research Project

See also: Furries vs. fursonas, therians, non-furs & artists; furries, therians, and otherkin
Bonus: Nuka suggests why bronies (and furry fandom) exist, and why other commonly-proposed 'reasons' are wrong.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (8 votes)

Well I guess we should call them the quarterhorses then...

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*face-palm*

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We didn't make the list of popular websites?

We suck.

On second thought, Dog-Shaped-Dildoes-R-Us made the list, so who cares?

Also, bronies and/or MLP:FiM account for exactly one fifth of our front page; but also one fifth of the top 10 most visited stories in the past month (and I know my DVD review just expired). Though the front page also takes a spot, so I guess its 2/9ths of our top stories.

Also, I see "my little pony porn" accounts for 32 visitors this month; that's up from earlier this month. Hope the three new guys weren't too disappointed that we only had an article about pony porn, instead of actual pony porn.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Flayrah isn't a website, it's a magazine. Best magazine, in fact. (I suspect Bad Dragon is there for its popular forums.)

MLP porn does appear to be holding a lead over cub porn in the search stats. May just be temporary, though.

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First paragraph response: Hey, did you know that sometimes a borderline lead actor or actress is given a FYC campaign for supporting actor or actress if the studio thinks they can get away with it?

Second paragraph response: ARGH!

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An excellent summary, as always, Greenreaper =^_^=

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (6 votes)

The MLP ponies are anthropomorphic, and the writers had the genius to put a lot of adult humour in a kiddie series and then actively market it to parents and kids alike, and that obviously hit the bullseye.

So it's not a surprising result that furries like it. Furries are influenced by global media trends just like any other group, just with a focus on anthropomorphic animals. I think in the mid-nineties, 25% would have identified as "The Lion King" fans, and in the 2000s, everyone was about pokemon.

I wonder what's next :)

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Couldn't have said it better myself, Cheetah =)

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On one hand, that's a bit unfair to the "The Lion King;" it was a gargantuan mainstream hit, smashing box office records for animation, and still holding the box office record for traditional. MLP:FiM is, at best, a gargantuan cult hit. We're furries, so of course we're familiar with the phenomenom, but it is still mostly a known to Internet type folks and animation fans.

Though my geographic isolation may color my ability to gauge that; I guess I better leave that to Nuka and the other Kathy G. To really define "cult" status.

On the other hand, Pokemon is a bit more on target.

Also, I think you give Hasbro a bit too much credit; if they really designed a cult hit of this manitude, why does "Strawberry Shortcake" still blow?

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Faust, a fan of pre-FiM ponies, designed this cult hit. IMO it's gone downhill increasingly quickly since she gave up creative control (though I realize quite a lot of fans will bring out the torches and pitchforks after I say that).

From what I've heard of the Care Bears reboot Hasbro is working on, it'll be about as good as Strawberry Shortcake.

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You can't design a cult hit like you can design a cult (Faust is no Hubbard, is what I'm saying).

Faust is good, and the "being good" didn't exactly hurt, but it's like saying Joel Hodgson knew MST3K was going to pretty much single-handedly save Comedy Central, basically be the inspiration for a lot of Internet culture and last over 10 seasons while he was hot gluing robot puppets together one night or that Gene Roddenberry knew what he was unleashing on the world when he pitched "Star Trek."

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I think what Deuce was saying is not that Faust specifically designed it to be a cult hit, but that it became one because of her contributions, and without them it is "losing the magic".

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Well, yeah, but that's not how cults work; I brought up Joel from MST3K for a reason. He left his show too, and it didn't slow it down. In fact, I'm a Mike guy myself. Likewise, Roddenberry dying didn't stop the cult of "Star Trek."

Some creators do gain cults (Wes Anderson, Tim Burton, Joss Whedon), and Faust does have a very small cult herself, but the real cult here is still not Faust's; it's a cult of ponysonality, not personality.

I'm just avoiding the quality question 'cause that could get ugly.

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I will put this more clearly, then:

Faust designed FiM based on her personal idea of what the show should be, derived from her preferences and her enjoyment of G1+.

Hasbro, by contrast, tends to design shows by committee with input from marketing.

It is not surprising that S1 FiM was much better than quite a few of Hasbro's other offerings, given this.

"Credit" in your original post belongs to Faust, not Hasbro, resolving the contradiction that you were commenting on.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (3 votes)

I think you're seeing things. If I recall Faust did work with them on Season 2 and somewhere in the midst of that she had left. Therefore to me season 3 will be the real test. So far, it's a bit worrisome. We are going into October and there isn't a word on an air date for the first season 3 episode. At this time last year the second season already began.

So the question is what's with the hold up?

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Faust had creative _control_ in S1 only.

In S2, her role was advisory, with the shots being called by someone else.

This wasn't a completely sharp cutoff, as a lot of the work for early S2 episodes was done during calendar-S1, if I'm reading sources correctly.

S1 wasn't perfect, and S2 wasn't abysmal, but: S1 kept characters' personalities reasonably consistent, kept the setting pre-industrial-revolution, had an over-arching storyline that showed up in a few episodes (preparation for the Gala and the Gala itself), kept the setting canon itself adequately self-consistent, and introduced relatively few "we need a new toy" items (the CMCs are debatable; they're cool, but they're also something marketing would adore, as they're targetted at a slightly different age group _and_ are new figures to make toys of).

S2, by contrast, has characters acting completely contrary to their established personalities because the writers felt like it (Last Roundup, with Applejack being evasive and outright lying the whole episode), playing them as exaggerated charicatures in other episodes ("Putting Your Hoof Down", arguably "Lesson Zero"), moving the time period forward to mid-industrial-revolution so that they could sell a toy train, and introducing new characters who were best friends/best foal-sitters of main characters, and an entire race of evil enemies clearly visible as a dark blot on the horizon but never mentioned in the past two years, in order to have new toys to sell (Canterlot Wedding; Cadence/Cadance was turned into an alicorn late the the development process, and Shining came out of absolutely nowhere).

Things have slid downhill increasingly rapidly since the midpoint of S2, and I'm truly afraid of what S3 will look like.

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Um... there was a train in the first season...

Over a Barrel they were delivering a tree to Applossa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22g5QkG8OBk

I was gonna mark a time, but actually the first thing you see in the episode is the train. Though an interesting thing to note is that the train is being "towed" by horses as opposed to being self driven... so the argument about steam power could still be made I suppose.

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That was the first introduction of the train, and Faust noted in her DA that the "being towed" part was a compromise regarding technology level. It was edited into the title sequence in S2E03 (Lesson Zero).

When we see it in "MMMystery", the train no longer has the relatively realistic cars we saw in "Over a Barrel", and instead has cars resembling the toys that were on sale earlier in the season.

Interesting historical note: Some trains actually _were_ towed like that, as it's easier to tow large loads on rails than in carts (less rolling friction). Same principle as horse-towed barges. Towing an _engine_ in that episode was an oddity, remarked on quite a bit by fans.

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Okay, who made it good; yes definitely Faust wanted to be there.

As for second season quality, I think it's pretty obvious you enjoyed the show for Faust, rather than for the show itself. Nothing wrong with that.

The cult of Faust by itself does not account for the cult of MLP:FiM; however, being a good show doesn't hurt a cult show gain its cult, and we can credit Faust for the good part.

It seems obvious to me that Faust's original enthusiasm has spread to the remaining crew, mostly because of the bronies. They sense they are onto something special here, and are excited about that. I mean, they signed up for a paycheck, because they're animators, and at the end of the day it is a job. But, conversely, at the end of the day, they are also artists at the same time.

They're lucky, and they know it.

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"Obviously enjoyed the show for Faust, rather than the show"?

On the off chance you're not just trolling me - quit making assumptions. You're looking silly doing it.

I enjoyed the show for what it was: an entertaining story with (for cartoons) reasonably realistic and mature protagonists, with a message glorifying cooperation and friendship most episodes. It was reasonably well-written and had at least a passing nod to continuity and self-consistency between episodes.

Per my reply to the post above yours, many of the qualities that I enjoyed about the show in S1 started disappearing in S2. The manner in which they did so suggests that this is Hasbro's fault (consistency is now a lower priority and toy-selling is now a higher priority).

The fact that this occurred after Faust handed over creative control but with other staff staying mostly the same suggests that she was the reason this slide _didn't_ start much earlier.

Please assume in the future that I _do_ have well-thought-out reasons for my preferences, rather than being a fan or hater of person or thing X.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

Oh, good Lord.

Dude, all I got to go on here is your screenname; if I use a personal pronoun for you that isn't "you," I'm going to have to make an assumption. Chill out.

We're going down a trail I didn't want to go and specifically said so earlier, but, you know what, you assumed I was a troll without even stopping berating me for assuming. So, we're gonna do this.

Okay, first of all, liking a show for the creatives is fine, and in fact laudible, so actually, that is a good, well thought out reason. Your "well thought out reasons" are basically a slow realization that they sell pony dolls.

Lauren Faust was a fan of the original dolls; she based her characters on her dolls. She's selling pony dolls.

The thing is she only wrote personally like three episodes, and was not the series director at any point. Her job was always to create the show, not run it. That's not how TV shows work. Furthermore, television creators rarely stay with their shows; even when they do, the medium of television is far too collaborative to praise or blame a single person for a show.

Finally, consistency? Industrial revolution? Jesus Christ, it's a cartoon about talking ponies. Not a fucking sci-fi epic.

As far as consistency of character is concerned, it's a TV show with multiple episode writers.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

*Sigh*.

Lauren Faust was creative director and executive producer for S1 of FiM.
As of S2, she was a consulting producer.
She is not involved with S3.

Please at least spend two minutes researching the show before assuming that I don't know what I'm talking about.

Your rating: None Average: 2.2 (5 votes)

Do you have any idea what any of that means? Her job is much smaller than you think it was.

Okay, I'm assuming there ... but then you're assuming I don't know what I'm talking about, so how about we both stop whining about assumptions and assume that the conversation won't go anywhere without them.

And why are you even talking about season three? For all we know, we may flip positions completely (I guess that's assuming you watch it); you fall back in love with the show, and me going, "Jump the shark!"

Actually, genuine interest out of nowhere, what was the "Jump the Shark" episode? I'm going to assume, just for the sake of assuming, that it was Lesson Zero. I have my reasons. I mean, assuming you'll play along, of course. And assuming you'll not say something stereotypically boring like "well, it was gradual."

Gradual is boring. Play the game.

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If MLP isn't mainstream, then I don't know WHAT is :)

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Well, yeah, most people are aware of the toys, which are available, you know, everywhere.

But is the mainstream aware that it's a thing, you know? Does the man on the street really know who Pinkie Pie is? Do they really? Its the Internet disconnect; you ask Internet Guy who H.P. Lovecraft is, they have strong opinions on his views of racial differences.

You ask John Q. Public who Lovecraft is ... well, hope you're asking in a college town, otherwise you'll probably get jokes abot a guy named Lovecraft.

Likewise, while most people are aware that there are such things as ponies, most people assume automatically BroNYCon is a convention for frat boys in New York

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In relation to the Fandom? Yes.

In relation to everyday life? That's debatable.

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crossaffliction survey finds 1 in 1 guy asked can't name a pony

The first and only roundup of results from the Mainstream Brony Index uses 1 survey of 1 offline non-furry participant, and data from zero prior studies. This is why we're not connected to any universities.

Many findings revolved around how geeky the participant was:

-Squirtle is best Pokemon.
-Participant could name 100% of movie Avengers, but only 60% of "founding" Avengers.
-Participant thought Lovecraftian meant "crafted with love" even after being told H.P. Lovecraft was a person.

In addition, the completely non-furry sample made it possible to make several sort of educated guesses:

-non-furries know My Little Pony exists.
-non-furries prefer How I Met Your Mother to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
-non-furries don't know how to pronounce BroNYCon.
-non-furries read my articles.
-non-furries don't know many ponies, if any, at all.

The analysis refined absolutely shit, because there wasn't any previous studies.

Squirtle, squirting water and awesomeness

The first question of the survey was what is your favorite Pokemon. The respondents instantly replied Squirtle. When asked why (which was not originally a part of the survey, but I got curious, so whatevs, I'll throw it in), the respondent replied "Because he is awesome and squirts water." The surveyor, whose job has nothing to do with landscaping, by the way, noted that the second response seemed a bit sarcastic.

The point of this part of the survey was to show that the participant had at least one geeky tendency, and wasn't just a jock who only liked football. Though he does like football, too.

Hawkeye, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, the Hulk and Iron Man

For the second part of the survey, the respondent was asked to name the six Avengers from the recent movie entitled, aptly enough, The Avengers. The respondent was able to name all six (Hawkeye, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, the Hulk and Robert Downey, Jr.).

The respondent was then asked to name the five "founding" Avengers as first appeared in the also aptly named comic book, The Avengers #1, written by Stan "The Man" Lee and drawn by Jack "I Can't Remember His Nickname Without Looking It Up" Kirby. He was able to name the obvious Hulk, Iron Man and Thor, but also thought Hawkeye and Captain America were founding members, and completely missed Hank Pym/Ant Man/Giant Man/Yellowjacket/The Wasp/And I Probably Missed One Somewhere and the chick he hit one time.

The point of this part of the survey was to show that different mediums have different mass culture saturation points. Just because enough people saw two comic book movies this summer to make them number 1 and number 2 at the box office this year (I guess I better say so far, but come on? What's going to beat them?) doesn't mean they actually want to read actual comic books.

Mass culture saturation points. I just made that up, but doesn't it sound spiffy!

Pargon, pargon, pargon, pargon, pargon and pargon

The next question that I asked my poor, poor victim was who was H.P. Lovecraft. Guy said, and I quote, "I don't know." We assume that means he didn't know.

The next question was, "If you describe something as 'Lovecraftian,' what would you be describing?" He answered "crafted with love," which is kind of a stupid answer, we note. Then we had to explain who Lovecraft was, and how "crafted with love" is not the correct answer.

The point of these questions is to show even an influential, well respected, important, blah blah blah personage in certain circles, even someone whose influence of certain circles has led to that circle's influence of the mainstream, does not mean that personage will get much respect from the man on the street.

Even if they have become a freaking adjective. Also, since we're about to enter the pony portion of this dog and pony show, I would like to point out that no matter how influential Lauren Faust gets, she'll unfortunately never get to be an adjective.

Honesty, loyalty, generosity, kindness, laughter and magic

The surveyor then wrote the word "BroNYCon" on a piece of paper, and told the guy to read the word, since pronouncing it might give him a hint, and told him this was the name of a convention for fans of a TV show held in New York, like a Star Trek convention, and asked for the name of the TV show, and added that, whoops, we guess we kinda eliminated Star Trek, didn't we?

The guy answered How I Met Your Mother, which is exactly like Star Trek.

The final question was, "Name a My Little Pony character."

Here the respondent realized how off he was on his BroNYCon guess.

His response was, "Oh, and I just read your article *name omitted* showed me, but I can't think of any."

In other words, I had accidentally polluted my data pool, and it still didn't effect the fact that the guy could not name a single pony. Hell, I'd of taken Spike.

Admittedly, one interview with one dude taken on the spur of the moment basis does not a real study make, but the evidence does suggest, in this case, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is not mainstream.

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crossie, how can you be so intelligent but fall victim to such simple grammatical errors? I'm half-convinced you sneak them into your posts simply to annoy me.

Furry Pariah

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o.o' And here I naively thought people would be debating/challenging me on the data/conclusions drawn ^^;

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We already talked a lot about this at AC, I'd have to go through this a bit later. Isn't anything too unusual so far.

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So, when are you announcing the results of the "best pony" question?

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Hello Fark readers!

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Okay, so the point of Fark is to show "news pieces from real news sources" that are not really news.

I think this somehow works out to a compliment, guys.

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Not sure how I feel about being on Fark just yet... >.>'

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What the heck is Fark? Before my time I suppose?

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Almost certainly; Fark's been around since roughly 1999. Pre-dotcom-boom internet. Old school.

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I wonder what will happen to the Brony fandom when their show eventually is canceled, or worse if Hasbro gets greedy and cuts corners on writing and production to dumb it down for kids. I know a few furs who were in the Tiny Toons and Animaniacs fandoms that later discovered furry in the 90's when their shows were canceled.

And with the success of MLP-FiM I'd love to see Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network or Disney try to copy it's success and start making great kids shows again that appeal to adults with quality animation, music and fun pop culture references in them.

Like Anime and Sci-Fi fans, many Bronies just believe what the media tells them about Furries (CSI) and are just too scared, smug or lazy to attend a furcon to really find out how very similar Bronies and Furries are.

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22% of furries think there are no overlap between the two.

The media thing might be a part of it, however, what is probably more likely the case is that they interacted with a fur who loathes MLP. I mean, there's about a 1 in 5 shot, those are some pretty intimidating odds. I think gay people might have less a chance of running into a homophobe in general public. So yeah, some of them might be elitist (in fact with their self-view at 80-100 you pretty much ensure such things), but they aren't the only ones.

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You have got to remember that 4chan was an important early nexus for the brony fandom; you can still see this in their fondness for memes.

4chan doesn't ban furry because 4chan doesn't really ban anything, but if they did ban something officially, it would be furry. In other words, brony fandom has a built in aversion to furries.

Furthermore, there seems to be a difference between how bronies and furries like the show (something unproven, but maybe something Nuka and friends can look into); furries watch the show because it is about talking ponies. Bronies watch the show despite it being abot talking ponies.

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This may go into more of the Lauren Faust nostolgia for cartoon network which I think ties most of the active people on the internet today recall, furry or /4/channer.

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Well, that's definitely our one area of overlap between 4chan and furries; we both are animation fans. 4chan because anime was kind of the original point of 4chan, and furries because, though animation is a medium, not genre, that doesn't mean that the medium's attributes don't make it better suited for certain genres, and funny animal is a genre that fits the medium to a T.

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I'll mention, for the record, that I've been lurking 4chan for nearly 6 years now, and despite what 4chan says about hating furries, I get about half of my furry artwork from 4chan =P

I've actually said something similar to this awhile back, differences between furries and bronies with regard to why they watch MLP:FiM, said in almost those exact words, Cross: furries watch it because of talking ponies, bronies depsite the fact that it's talking ponies. And, while I agree whole-heartedly with it, I also have to recognize that any attempt to "summarize" why a person is a brony is as likely to fail as any attempt to explain why a person is a furry: there are MANY reasons. People will argue back and forth about whether it's to challenge traditional norms of masculinity/femininity, others will say it's because of affinity for other, similar animated shows (guilty as charged; I love MLP because it reminds me so much of Powerpuff Girls, which I used to adore), still others because it has that fuzzy, feel-good message of love and friendship, and the list of reasons goes on. And they're all perfectly valid reasons. It may seem like a cop-out answer to say so, but there is no one reason for a person to be a brony.

That said, I feel like there MAY be differences in the proportion of of people falling into one category of reasons versus another between bronies and furries. It'll be difficult to study that in future research, unfortunately. As I've mentioned in the past, we're sometimes limited in the questions we can ask, if only because we've got limited space in our surveys: each year we pare it down from about 400 questions to a barely-manageable 200+ questions. A lot of good questions get trimmed, oftentimes not because they're bad questions but because they only apply to a limited population. Asking "why do you watch MLP:FiM" may be a question that applies to 20-25% of furries; the other 75% have nothing to say on the subject, and we've effectively 'wasted' a question or two on them. What's worse, if we have too many of those types of "don't apply to me" questions on any given survey, it increases their likelihood of getting pissed off at the survey and not finishing it =/

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Yeah, I'm definitely falling into "gross over generalization" (as well as "armchair sociologist") territory.

And you know what, I know at least one furry who had problems with the whole talking pony thing; namely, me.

I will say even 4chan's userbase is much too large to make generalizations like "they hate furries," but I think a lot of the founders and such can definitely fall into the "anti-furry" camp.

Personally, I avoid 4chan because of all the pedophiles, which is really inappropriate generalization given this discussion, but there you go.

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A very good point Sonious; one of the BIGGEST reasons I decided to include the Brony questions in the survey this year was for the same reason I included a question or two about Babyfurs last year (the point of which was entirely lost on furries, it seems): we, as a fandom, cry foul every time someone says something mean or simply ignorant about the fandom ("oh, why don't they take the time to understand who we are?! The vast majority of us have NO interest in having sex in a fursuit or bestiality, so why do they insist on making that gross generalization? Bawwwww!")

Then, what do we, as a fandom do? We turn right around and, with no regard whatsoever for the blatant hypocrisy of it, we do the EXACT SAME THING TO A SUB-CULTURE WITHIN OUR OWN FANDOM. "Babyfurs are pedophiles" or "Babyfurs just like to sit around in diapers and soil themselves... it's some sick scat fetish". We've heard these before, and we know that we do it as a fandom. And many of us do it to bronies as well. No more apparent is this than if you look at the reasons many people give for hating on bronies. "It's silly" says the guy who spent six hundred dollars on a fursuit so they could run around as a cartoon wolf. "It's immature" says the person who pretends to be a dragon in online chat rooms. "They're militant and push it on others" says the person who, thirty seconds later, starts another furry thread on 4chan or posts more furry artwork on their Facebook page.

My point is this: as a fandom, we can't, in one breath, claim to be open and tolerant and accepting and espouse the importance of these as defining traits of the furry fandom while, in the same breath, listing off all the subcultures within our fandom that we can't stand. It's perfectly alright to not be interested in all of these subcultures, but the level of hatred they receive is simply mind-boggling o.o' As Sonious correctly said, a gay person has less of a chance of running into a homophobe in the general public. I point out in our data that bronies are more likely to experience bullying in their current life. Some smart-assedly roll their eyes and say "well duh, they're bronies", as if this is something acceptable or to be encouraged. If that's really the case, then no furry ever has the right to complain about how the CSI episode "got it wrong" or about how unfair Vanity Fair or the Tyra Banks Show was to furries...

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Of course the chart provided is one sided, I don't know if you have the kind of data for the inverse proposition. How Bronies (who of course don't label themselves furry) feel about furrys. However, I'm sure that the numerical spread would be similar. Hatred is a perpetual motion. If there are extremists on one side there tends to be equal and opposite on the other, and they will quite often fuel each other and be the reason for the maintenance of the other side's haters.

(And the two Brony /4/channers going through all the comments discussing them and 1 starring them are more proving that case then disproving it)

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Actually I know of a few who discovered furry fandom coming form MLP+FIM fandom.
Sometimes I joke the furries need to start a Brony to furry transition initiative when MLP is eventually canceled.

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This article has more bounce then a mob of kangaroos

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With all the territory covered by this article, it seems like the discussion thus far has weighed heavily in favor of MLP and bronies, to the detriment of other aspects of the survey that would make worthwhile discussion topics. I suspect that's due in large part to the choice of title for the article.

On several of the other questions, where comparisons are made between furries and non-furries, I would like to see the demographic breakdown of the comparison. My concern has to do with the fact that the majority of furries are in the 18-29 age range, whereas I'm guessing the non-furry numbers reflect a wider distribution across multiple age ranges. We are told, for instance, that furries are more liberal, more likely to be atheist, and higher on the Kinsey scale, than non-furries. But to my admittedly non-scientific observation, this seems to be true in general among 18-29 year-olds, and if the non-furry numbers encompass a larger number of older age groups, the comparison loses validity. In other words, show us how 18-29 year old furries compare to 18-29 year old non-furries (and likewise for other age groups), or at least take into account any differences in the age demographics of the two groups and adjust the weight of the age groups to achieve some sort of "demographic parity".

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*nods* A very good point; I should mention that our online sample was acquired through Mechanical Turk, a website where people are paid for doing small amounts of work (a very cool site, by the way, if you ever get a chance to check it out!)

At any rate, the important point is that in most of our Mechanical Turk studies, the average participant is about 29-31 years of age, and it's about 50% male, 50% female. So, age wise, while participants are, on average, older than furries, it's not like we're comparing a group of 50 year olds to 20 year olds. That said, there is definitely validity to your point, and it's something I'll add to my to-do list =) Perhaps I'll pull out just the participants on MTurk who are 18-24 and compare them, as a group, to furries.

That said, the original group is not an entirely invalid control group: remember that there is NO perfect control group: a control group is chosen based on the question you want to answer. In our case, we're frequently asked "are furries maladjusted people?" And my response is always the same: "compare to who?" One way to answer is to say "compared to the average American", in which case, well, our MTurk responses are, demographically speaking, fairly representative of the "Average American". The question you're asking is "compare to the average 18-24 year old", which is another perfectly valid question =) I suspect, unsurprisingly, we'll find that any differences that exist between furries and our original control group will be far smaller, and perhaps become insignificant, when that comparison is made. I still feel my original point still stands though: furries do differ from "the average American"; it's just not in terms of dysfunction =P

Anyway, I'll let you know when I manage to get to that analysis (it may be a little while, as I'm currently backed up with teaching stuff; e-mail me (cplante@uwaterloo.ca) if I haven't gotten back to you on this within a week =)

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Thanks, it's appreciated. Go ahead and post your findings here once you have them available, as I'm sure there will be others besides me that will find them interesting.

The age demographic I used was just one example. Other demographics such as gender may be significant enough to be worth trying to factor out. It will be interesting indeed to see how furries still differ from non-furries once the demographic differences are factored out.

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Awesome summary, if heavier reading than most things on this site. It's really heartening to see a report on furs that's got p levels and proper analysis. One small question though, is that list of websites ordered according to popularity?

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Yup =^_^=

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Nuka suggests why bronies (and furry fandom) exist, and why other commonly-proposed 'reasons' are wrong.

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Ah, thanks for posting this here! I never even thought to =^_^= Mind you, I didn't anticipate anyone would care all that much about this! =P

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Would agree with what was said about it.

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GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.

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