The 2015 Furry Poll

RandomWolf has a few questions for you.
RandomWolf has a few questions for you.

We’ve collected a lot of data with the furry survey.  A lot.

From 2009 to 2013, the Furry Poll accrued nearly 30,000 responses, allowing us to see not only the general ways in which the furry subculture is structured, but also the ways in which it changed in that span of five years.  We’ve pulled all five years of data into a single resource which will be made available soon, both as a raw dataset and as a new visualization, a data explorer that will allow you to plot many different variables against each other.

As I’ve said before, the Furry Poll is not, never has been, and certainly never will be a scientific study of the furry fandom. That is the purview of many other qualified folks inside and outside of the fandom, and one ought to look to the IARP for such information. If one wants to think of the Poll, it’s best to think of it as a market survey: a simple view of the market as viewed through the eyes of willing participants. The goal is not to make broad and sweeping statements of absolute truth about the furry subculture, but to view through our communities eyes the demographic and psychological makeup of the community. It’s a snapshot of how a good portion of the community views itself.

This year, we’re bringing you an all-new survey structure, and we will be collecting data in this format for the next five years to compile into the next longitudinal segment. If you’ve taken the Furry Survey before, remember that you can (and should!) take it once per year.

New this year, the survey is broken down into three sections: demographics and overview (featuring improved handling of characters, as well as gender expression and identity), a psychographic battery (similar to a personality test), and questions about sexuality and interests. As always, all questions and sections are optional, and you need only fill out what you’re comfortable with. Additionally, we will be welcoming responses from individuals who do not consider themselves members of the furry subculture in order to see the ways in which furries are different from non-furries.

Click here to head to the survey!
Click here to head to the survey!

About Makyo

Makyo spends her time as a frumpy snow leopard, usually, but she's all over the map. She's been around furry since about 2000 under a variety of names. She writes, programs, and screws around with music.

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19 thoughts on “The 2015 Furry Poll

  1. The political views question was very limiting. I wasn’t sure what you meant by “favoring economic restrictions” but I assumed that you meant what Libertarians and Republicans do. I figured that’s what it was, since Democrats and Greens don’t generally use that phrasing at all. Not that that describes my views either. I am an anarchist socialist: I am equally opposed to the existence of governments and corporations, not to mention churches and starving children.

    Now, I’m not telling you this in an attempt to change your views; I’m actually no longer politically active, because I find it’s mostly a game for control freaks. I’m just letting you know where I stand and why I had trouble answering that question. I honestly don’t know where this would fall on your scale of “economic restrictions.”

    1. Hi Metallus, thanks for the interesting comment. I’ve been reading about socialist anarchism, so hopefully I can help.

      Libertarians fall on the relatively extreme end of “fewer economic restrictions”, in that they think the free market should be unfettered by government regulations. In general the United States left (Democrats and Greens) favour more economic restrictions (although that isn’t the always the case elsewhere in the world). I read that socialist anarchism might be thought of as a kind of left-libertarianism, and I suspect therefore your natural answer would also be on the extreme end of “fewer economic restrictions”.

      Having said that, you are quite right to say that the question is simplistic and limiting. There is always a trade off with surveys, between a desire for detail and the need for brevity. I suspect that is what has happened here.

      1. Actually, Libertarianism is just the concept of fewer restrictions in general, with more specific terms for the different branches. Socialist anarchism is the extreme form of left-libertarianism. The difference is that Libertarianism is purely the concept of individual liberty being most important, where socialist anarchism is that essentially there should be no government but we should all look out for each other and that a community based society is needed. Now I’m not terribly familiar with Socialist Anarchism, but it doesn’t sound too different from other forms of anarchist society proposed by folks like Emma Goldman.

        The US Libertarian party and folks like Ron Paul ARE on the extreme end, frequently conservative-libertarians, but libertarianism in general isn’t relatively extreme.

        I like to use the political compass to chart people’s ideologies these days, free from political parties, though the individual quizzes that people have set up to use the political compass aren’t perfect.

        1. I do prefer the “left versus right” economic dimension. It’s much more politically neutral. As a socialist, I tend to feel that a moneyed upper class makes a society less free, whereas right libertarians aren’t nearly as threatened. This is not a disagreement about how free people should be, but what freedom actually means and how to achieve it.

          There are those who feel that the right to accumulate as much wealth as you can is an essential human freedom, which is generally incompatible with socialism and communism. I think that this, even more than the Soviet Union, is the reason that socialism is stereotyped as statism. Of course, I personally believe that governments serve the powerful first, and everyone else last–if at all.

          1. At the risk of becoming boring by making the same comment to several people, I’ll add that “left versus right” means different things in different countries. The American experience isn’t universal.

          2. Then I suppose communist versus capitalist would be clearer. Anyone who clicked “communist” would either fit the stereotype or recognize it for what it was.

          3. I’m not sure “communist” would be the right term for a layman’s survey, but socialism isn’t exactly the same as communism either. Maybe Marxism vs Free-Market, for the economy part?

          4. I don’t see how replacing “communism” with “marxism” will improve your data set. That’s even more specific.

            How about this.
            “What is MOST IMPORTANT for a free society?
            “A) those who can acquire large sums of wealth are not prevented from doing so or B) those who require food, shelter, or medical care are able to do so?”

            Same number of radio buttons between them, but with A on one side and B on the other.

          5. It may do to replace “freedom” with “justice” since of course not everyone on the far left has my anarchist leanings.

          6. Yeah, it hit me the other day that Marxism isn’t the right term for what I was thinking. Just using “Government-Controlled” vs “Free-Market” with a sliding or 1-to-5 scale would work pretty well.

  2. About education. The only choices are high school and university, and “advanced degree” which I have absolutely no idea what it is. Where’s college? If anything, that’s the option I would expect getting the most chosen. Also maybe have trade school? Which is sort of in between high school and college.

    1. Hi FW. I don’t write, administer, or own the survey, but I can tell you that a few of us within [a][s] went back-and-forth on this question. The problem is that “college” means different things in different parts of the world. The options you describe are, I think, a reflection of the US (or possibly North American) educational systems, and if you structure the questions that way you’ll have a lot of non-Americans getting confused.

      The question isn’t perfect, and you’re right to criticise it. Any question that leaves people thinking “absolutely no idea” is a problem. In this case, I’m not sure that there is a good way to ask the question so it makes sense to everyone – we’ve tried to use the “least worst” construction. But the sounds of it, we may not have succeeded.

      1. We’ve received additional requests for trade/vocational/technical colleges in this question this year, as well. Unfortunately, we cannot add, remove, or change options beyond clarifying them once the survey is underway without compromising the results already in place. We’re keeping track of this on the issues page for next year, which is available here:

  3. I haven’t yet taken this years survey but I remember I once had the raw data for a few of the years (I should probably ask for that again) and I’m hoping you’ve improved the way you record the results. Of particular concern where the “Do you identify” type questions with yes or no answers. Your data only recorded a yes which made it impossible to differentiate between someone who said no and someone who declined to answer the question.

    1. Hi Rakuen, thanks for bringing that up. Unfortunately that problem is still in place in several areas throughout the survey, and part of that is an oversight on my part, as I’ve updated it elsewhere. Another problem we’re starting to run into, however, is the length of the survey in time required to complete. There’s a good chance that a lot of the survey can be slimmed down, but that, at the moment, is one of the blockers standing in the way of providing a “no” option in these cases.

      As for survey data, the last five years of that will be available as soon as I have the time to toss the Explorer up on – keep an eye out here, that will be coming soon!

  4. I never liked the idea of the racial profiling in surveys.
    I took PSAT before and at the bottom of the test, it asked me of my grade and my race.
    I questioned if it is really necessary. Only thing that can result from asking your race on standardized test will be labeling races with intelligence score. I can only think of it as incentive to build racial-wall. And back in early 2000, some bold man decided to write a book comparing races’ intelligence and how certain racial minorities score less on SAT tests and how they some are genetically inferior.

    Americans are obsessed with race…
    We fail to see each other as just Fellow Americans but we just ought to divide ourselves by races. African American, Chinese-American, etc. By giving reasons to divide ourselves by races I think it’s only creating racial tension.

    I noticed that Canada, the less racist part of North America, was able to reach more racially harmonious country by not ask of your race ever so often or making it big deal (of course Canada pushed huge federal projects to decrease racial tension too). Also, as a cultural standard, it’s not really polite to identify people by race around here. As an example, if you look at a cellphone demographic survey from the states, you will see a section where the stat. divides people by races. But you cannot find any of the same survey that does that in Canada.
    (I live both in the states and Canada)

    I considered furry fandom to be quite racially blind place. Behind the screen, or at furmeet, we just see each other as fellow furball, not Asian furry or, african furry.
    I just hope that this new part of the survey does not become a incentive to see other furries through eyes of race-obsession.

    1. Now that I think about it, I am not sure if the your survey has been asking about the respondent’s race or if it’s just something new.
      It’s been a year since I took your survey…. I am having a hard time remembering it.

  5. There is a question, “Which of the following websites do you visit regularly, have an account on, or contribute to?”, which seems to contradict the three choices offered: “I have visited this site”, “I have an account on this site,” and “I have contributed to or posted on this site.” If I choose the “visited this site” choice, does this mean that I have visited the site any number of times, or does this mean that I visit the site on a regular basis?

  6. Is there any reason why being dominant/submissive was a binary? I consider myself a switch, but answering the question as neutral doesn’t feel right.

    Perhaps a versatility question?

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