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Furry Sociology

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes) ">David J. Rust has posted a basic study on furry sociology. While his data is up to four years old, it does provide an interesting snapshot of some fandom demographics.


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Um... WOW. He has my awe and respect!

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You said it, Mana. Nice to see such combination of honest and respectfull reporting!

It's going to be useless, I know, but I wish more furs would take a look at this. Does a fine job of clearing up some foolish ideas about the fandom.

Anyone else got something they want to add?


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Quite interesting, and it leaves the door open for futher study, analysis, and/or hypothsizing.

I would also be very interested to see more research done, as suggested, on the historical and social antecedents and the evolution of the fandom.

However, the sample populations isn't very large compared to the overall fandom, and I would guess that some or most of the participants in the poll volunteered. In statistics, I've been warned about the possible distorting effects of both.

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I realize that my mathematics degree is nearly 15 years old, but a sample size of 325 (the number interviewed live), is plenty large enough to draw statistically significant conclusions.

325 is also a damn large section of the fandom. I know some people think it's in the millions, but no convention has ever gotten more than 1200 attendees, so I'm very skeptical of any estimate of more than 3000 furry fans in north america.

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I'm not sure about that. I know that whenever a con comes around, I hear a lot more people saying "Gee, I wish I could go to a con" than people who actually talk about going to the the con.

It also sort of depends on how you define your population of interest. Are we talking about people who have ever looked at and enjoyed furry art, people who are regulars on MUCKs and IRC? (I'd estimate there's already close to 3000 in that category, and I still know furries who aren't on either), or what?

But, if we define the population as "Con-attending Furry Fans,' then 325 IS a a pretty decent sample. It all depends on how you phrase these things. ;o)

Speaking of phrasing, while I think the sample is pretty good, I take isue with some of the categories as presented in the results. I wish I could see the actual survey as presented.

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I am trying to collect links to "serious" articles and writings like this one on my furry resources page, at

Not that many so far, but if you liked this one, you might find the collection interesting (to anybody who know of others: feel free to signal of course! I'm _not_ looking for "definitions of furriness" or the like, but rather for critical / research pieces, well developed ideas, and surveys).


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I'm glad people enjoyed my research and presentation. I *do* want to get a wider sample and be able to define terms such as "member of the subculture" and "furry fan" ... at least from a sociological viewpoint.

You are correct in that some of the participants were volunteers ... those who took the survey over the 'net, for example. All the others, I sought out at conventions and furry gatherings that I could actually reach. Ideally, what I'd like to do, is travel around Canada, the United States and Europe, attending both conventions, gatherings and setting up in-person interviews with portions of the online community to gain a better cross-section of the fandom. Sadly, this would cost a lot of money.

Nonetheless, I'm in the middle of developing another study for use when I have money and ability to move around more freely and conduct more research.


David J Rust

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As I read the survey one thing that stood out was how many of the participants were convention attendees, and kept thinking that the demographics of convention attendees might not be an accurate representation of the demographics of furry fandom in general. I would speculate, for instance, that single people are more likely to attend more conventions than married people, and non-parents are more likely to attend than parents. The younger participants, particularly those still in college and even high school, are likely to skew the answers to questions relating to income and highest degree attained. It might be interesting to see what kinds of income, degrees, and careers accrue to furry fans who are adults and settled in our careers, but in order to do that it is necessary to "factor out" those who have not yet reached that stage of their lives (this younger group is, of course, interesting in their own right).

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Yes! I made every AC before I got engaged, and missed last year's because I was busy with wedding plans, and may miss this year's.

I'm only a 'demographic' of one, though ;>

Melissa "MelSkunk" Drake

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You are both quite correct and I did my best to also go to local furry gatherings and get information at other locations than cons. However, my personal cash supply (and the fact that this was merely a labor of love) kinda precluded that. What I tried to do was ask questions that would be fairly unique apart from whether or not a person would go to a convention. Therefore, questions regarding marriage and occupation may be thrown into question, but things such as overall make up (male-to-female ratios and the like) would be reletively un-effected.

Last fall, I did a panel on Furry Sociology at Midwest FurFest. I hope I can do more research in the future and help overcome the points that you helped raise. As I imply in the introduction to my survey, I'm aware of some of the failings of it and can only hope to have the money and time to conduct a more thorough assessment in the future... :)


David J Rust

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Hoo ha! Off the income scale, me! :)

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Quite an interesting article. But, I wonder how soon before someone adresses the subcultures that the fandom has created. For example, I'd LOVE to see an article on how many ex-furs were driven away by the 'pink nazis'. Or, an article on how many furs under the age of 30 who are treated like kindergardeners by older furs, even if the younger ones have been in the fandom much longer. Or, for a change, we could do a report on how many writers and/or roleplayers sink to depression and attempt suicide because they can't draw, so the fandom treats them like sh1t.
As long as we're on the subject, I think an article on the mistreatment of females in the fandom is LONG overdue. Not only do they recieve undo harassment and suck from our 'favorite' clique of all (The aforementioned 'pink nazis'), but the straight males havea tendancy to abuse them as well. Ugh, and people wonder why furry relationships don't work.
There is ONE article, though, that would be pointless. STDs & the furry fandom. While most furs are, how we say, inexperienced IRL, the very fact that 90% of us have had safe sex procedures (And the concequences of -not- following safe sex...) drilled into our heads since grade school ensures that those who are SMART will remain safe. Note that I said smart here... If someone has unprotected sex & contracts an STD (Yes, pregnancy can be thought of as an STD. Go take care of a kid sometime... Greatest incentive for birth control the world has.), then it's all on them.
Still, since I'm on the subject, I would like to adress one fact: Furries have sex at conventions. So, will someone explain to me why, in such a sexually charged enviroment, our conventions will not offer free protection? The very least a convention could do is set up a table where a member of a 'Stop AIDS' orginization or something similar could give out free condoms & such. Heck, for the ultimate cop out, just fill a punch bowl with different types of condoms & such, then let furs get what they need. Personally, I think that an ounce of pervention is worth it down the road. And furs, if your partner doesn't want to use protection, do you REALLY want to take the risk? Until you see PROOF, don't do it!
Hmm, I seem to have jumped to a reply about an article to advocating safe sex. Let's see... One thing I didn't like about the article was it didn't touch on how vicious and cruel some furs can be. Shunned and ridiculed most of thier life, when they finally join the fandom some furs will take out said pent-up anger and frustration in cliquish battles of 'I'm more popular than you!' games. The sad thing is that these childish antics will, in the end, destroy the very fandom we love. Ah, but I should end here for now...

F*ck the majority, I'm the EXTREME minority!

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an agronomist and Cornwuff from Northern Illinois, interested in sf, homebrewing, photography and running