Tag Archives: [a][s] Survey

Asexuals and Pansexuals

We talk quite a lot about furries and sexual orientation here at [adjective][species]. We do so because furries are unusual. For example: we are spread out almost evenly across the full seven-point Kinsey Scale, from 0 (exclusively heterosexual) to 6 (exclusively homosexual).

Furry sexual preference on the Kinsey scale
Furry sexual preference on the Kinsey scale

We have looked at the tendency of furries to re-evaluate their sexual preference over time, how sexual orientation relates to species choice, how there is a lot of homosexuality but not a lot of homosexuals, and how all of this affects and informs furry culture.

We get all this data by asking about sexual orientation in the Furry Survey. However there are two responses that we collect but rarely mention: those who are asexual and those who are pansexual. Unfortunately, like many unusual sexual orientations and identities, these two groups are often overlooked or ignored inside and outside furry. Such behaviour contributes to a phenomenon known as erasure, which roughly describes how society acts as if entire groups of people don’t exist.

The [adjective][species] tendency to ignore these groups when reporting and analyzing Furry Survey data contributes to erasure of these identities within furry. This article will explain how and why we have treated our asexual and pansexual data, and hopefully help redress the balance.

Let’s look at the asexuals first.

Continue reading Asexuals and Pansexuals

More or Less: How Many Furries Are There?

Guest post by Ralphie Raccoon. 


Hi, I’m Ralphie Raccoon, and this is hopefully the first in a small series of short articles presenting some important and interesting (and perhaps some less important, but hopefully still interesting) questions about the fandom, and attempting to answer them as best as possible through the eyes of statistics and data. If you’re British and listen to Radio 4, or enjoy listening to the BBC World Service if you are from the rest of the world, you may have heard of the programme “More or Less”. Well, this is sort of like that. Except it’s a blog post, not a radio show. And it’s not on the BBC, it’s on [adjective][species]. And rather than a bunch of guest speakers, you just get me. Sorry about that. Anyway, I hope that you find these articles enjoyable, or, at the very least, slightly informative.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional (or even really an amateur) statistician. I have never taken, and probably will never take, a proper statistics course in my life. So if any professional (or amateur) statisticians notice any errors or incorrect terminology, feel free to come over to my house and beat me with a big stick (or just leave me some constructive feedback, whatever you prefer).

For this first article I’m going to try to answer what is perhaps the biggest question of all: Just how many of us are there? It certainly is an important question to answer. After all, a fandom’s popularity is defined by its size, and while we may still pale in comparison to other big fandoms like science fiction, anime and fantasy, in recent years our numbers have swelled as awareness grows, and some of the stigma begins to wither away.

Total attendances at furry conventions have grown by over 500% since 2003 (Wikifur), and it would be fair to assume that the fandom has probably grown by a similar amount, if not more. But while we instinctively know that the fandom has grown in recent years, it is hard to work out how big it has actually gotten. What are the chances, for example, if you got 100 random people into a room from around the globe, that one of them would be a furry?

It’s not an easy question to answer. The fandom is not a club, we do not have any way of knowing how many “members” there are, people are free to join and leave without notifying anyone. Censuses such as the Furry Survey are entirely optional, and while they do produce valuable data, it is not possible to extract an estimate of the total number of furries on earth purely from the number of responses. However, combined with the aggregate attendance data of conventions from Wikifur, there is another way…

Continue reading More or Less: How Many Furries Are There?

Species Popularity by Sex, Gender & Sexual Orientation

We have a new visualisation to share today, courtesy of the industrious and talented hooves of Ruxley (https://github.com/ruxley).

This is an interactive visualisation which lets you explore the popularity of the top furry species, and see how that popularity changes with biological sex, gender, and sexual orientation.

Exactly how many wolves are there? (Lots and lots.) Are foxes gay? (Not really.) Are horses more popular than zebras? (Duh.)

Continue reading Species Popularity by Sex, Gender & Sexual Orientation

Looking for the Furry Vegetarians

This article was first published in 2012

In 2008, Klisoura’s furry survey asked “Would you describe yourself as an advocate of animal rights?”. 43% of you chose ‘yes’.

In surveys from 2009 onwards, Klisoura asks exactly the same question but only 27% of you choose ‘yes’. What changed?: in 2009, a new question was added on the following line: “Would you describe yourself as a vegetarian?”

This is an example of a phenomenon known in the psychology world as ‘priming’. When asked about animal rights and vegetarianism together, the thoughts of some users will have been drawn to their latest bacon sandwich and decided that, no, they weren’t an animal rights advocate.

Continue reading Looking for the Furry Vegetarians

Why Zoophilia is a Furry Issue

Zoophilia is fairly visible within furry.

Most obviously, so-called ‘feral’ art is ubiquitous, and some animal characters—the cast of The Lion King comes to mind—seem to be minor sex symbols in some circles. More personally, furries sometimes actively denote themselves as zoophiles in social media, perhaps on their Fur Affinity page.

Klisoura’s Furry Survey, which at its peak received over 9000 annual voluntary responses from furries worldwide, shows that 13-18% of furries self-identify as zoophiles. This does not mean that all these furries have had sexual contact with a non-human animal; these furries are probably just reporting sexual attraction. However this is significantly higher than the general population.

Continue reading Why Zoophilia is a Furry Issue

Furry as an Alternative to Religion

Furries are a diverse bunch.

Our diversity means that we’re often excluded from the mainstream. This is particularly evident in our sexual preferences – only about a third of us identify as ‘heterosexual’ or ‘mostly heterosexual’ (Ref). Other traits displayed by some furries – gender dysmorphia, heavy internet usage, or even simple geekiness – can also play a part in our diversion from society’s definition of ‘normal’.

Not surprisingly, furries do not closely embrace religion, a societal construct that can embody and tacitly enforce the norms of the mainstream. A little more than 50% of furries are essentially areligious (Ref). This rate is about five times higher than for the wider American population (Ref).

Furry provides some of the benefits of religion – I identify two in this article, loosely defined as ‘spirituality’ and ‘community’ – that provide insight into how mainstream society might react to the challenges of our changing world. Furries embody some of the biggest challenges to religion in the twenty-first century: acceptance of diversity, the growing online world and, most importantly, the increasing rejection of religion altogether.

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Our Fursonas Are Happier Than We Are

We furries, or at least most of us, have multiple identities.

Like everyone, we have our outward-facing human identity, named by our parents and constricted by whatever body it happens to be contained within. Our unique outward-facing identity is closely tied to our position in society and is tied to artificial constructs that crystallize our self into an acceptable bureaucratic package, such as our passports, our social security numbers, or our Google Plus accounts.

Furries usually also create one or more fictional identities. We name ourselves, select a combination of human and animal traits to create a new body, and often a new set of personality traits. Some furries, who create an avatar with interests (or physical dimensions) that do not easily gel with the real world, go further and create a fantasy universe.

Our furry identity is a personal creation, a kind of internal ghost accompanying the human that lurks around the real world. In situations where the real world is less intrusive, like corners of the internet or furry gatherings, our furry identities assert themselves and the human – with its arbitrary name, body, and bureaucratic accoutrements – is pushed to the background.

When the furry self is at the forefront, we experience the world in a different way. And, according to recently published data from the Anthropomorphic Research Project (based at the Niagara County Community College in the USA), we experience the world through the lens of an identity that is more mature, psychologically healthier, and happier than our human selves.

Continue reading Our Fursonas Are Happier Than We Are

Exploring the Fandom Through Data – RMFC 2012 Panel

We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to present a panel this year at Rocky Mountain Fur Con, and let me tell you, it was an absolute blast being able to talk about exploring the fandom to a standing-room-only crowd (even if we did have the Worst Projector). While much of the information involved in the panel itself has already been covered here, the most fun part of the session was the discussion that followed. There are just so many insightful furries out there, and it was excellent having Klisoura, Zik, and Kyell there as well.

We also had the chance to record, so after the cut are two videos: one of the panel portion and one of the discussion portion. You’ll have to forgive my nervousness, of course, but I do hope you enjoy the panel as much as I enjoyed participating.

Continue reading Exploring the Fandom Through Data – RMFC 2012 Panel

Re-evaluating Your Sexual Preference

There is a widely-held belief that new furries often re-evaluate their sexual preference after discovering the community.

Stereotypically, a young heterosexual male will begin socializing with furries – either online or in person – and will shortly re-evaluate himself as gay (or bi). Our young stereotype may think that furry helped him realize this about himself, and the experience will probably be a very positive one.

Confession time: my name is JM Horse and I am a stereotype.

I first heard about this phenomenon while reading about the community online. The then-popular Furvey, a long furry survey that people would fill in and post to alt.lifestyle.furry on Usenet, had this question (which I have lightly edited for clarity):

It is common for many furries to live as a heterosexual, and then through furry to discover their attraction to the same sex – is this the case with you?

 

This question has been asked since the mid-1990s. But is it true?

I asked Klisoura, who runs the Furry Survey. The chart below shows Klisoura’s data (visualized by Makyo), and it’s remarkable.

Continue reading Re-evaluating Your Sexual Preference