News:UC Davis posts furry survey results

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May 5, 2007
UC Davis

The University of California, Davis Department of Psychology has released results of a survey of the furry fandom.[1] The online survey was intended to identify the types and motivations of people within the fandom, and included both general demographic questions and sets designed to measure perceptions of furries towards themselves and their view of the perceptions of others towards furries. Over 600 furs participated through 22-26 February.[2][3]

[edit] Posting and response

A draft version was posted to the WikiFur forums and both WikiFur and Further Confusion community LiveJournals on January 31.[4] The informal method by which the draft was introduced raised questions over its legitimacy, as did its content, which included a request for responders' fursona or fan names as a unique identifier. The survey was withdrawn for refinement and reposted three weeks later, with promotion on WikiFur, alt.fan.furry, alt.lifestyle.furry and several LiveJournal groups.[5]

Some furs were also concerned by the final version of the survey.[2] However, the overall response was very positive:

   
News:UC Davis posts furry survey results
We've had a remarkable response rate from the community. We have received several emails to our account, all positive, asking for the results and volunteering to help in future studies.[6]
   
News:UC Davis posts furry survey results

The survey was administered by a group of undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students, sponsored by Dr. Cynthia Pickett of the Social/Personality group, and approved by UC Davis' Institutional Review Board.[7]

[edit] Survey results

The survey confirmed several stereotypes while refuting others. Most respondents were male (81%), Caucasian (89%) and American (83%). However, only 18% reported owning one or more fursuits. Around half were in a relationship, and of those 76% were involved with another furry. The ratio of reported sexual orientation was 33% heterosexual, 26% homosexual, 37% bisexual and 8% "other".

Over half of those surveyed reported active participation in the fandom occurring several times a week. Around half took part in furry-related internet friendships, chat rooms and blogging, while 42% attended conventions and close to 1/3 attended parties. Just over 1/6th took part in art auctions.

Political alignment was significantly biased towards the left of the spectrum, with 40% classifying themselves as "liberal" or "very liberal" while 16% were "moderate" and just 7% were "conservative" or "very conservative" (around 35% were "not political" or "other"). Around 90% of respondents reported earnings of less than $50,000/year, reflecting in part the large student makeup (38%). The average age was 24.6 years.

The results of questions pertaining to the social perceptions of furry fans have not yet been released.

The above results are broadly similar to an study performed in 1998-2000 by David J. Rust. The reported incidence of bisexuality (49%) and the ratio of Caucasian respondents (94%) was higher in his sample of 360 furs, most of which were polled at conventions.[8]

[edit] Sources

  1. Furry Survey Results - UC Davis Study group F3 LiveJournal (May 4, 2007)
  2. 2.0 2.1 A survey for members of the furry fandom - Study group F3, WikiFur LiveJournal (February 22, 2007)
  3. Furry Survey Complete - Study group F3, WikiFur LiveJournal (February 22, 2007)
  4. NEW Furry Survey! - WikiFur forums (January 31, 2007)
  5. Furry fandom survey by UC Davis Department of Psychology - alt.fan.furry, openpaws - furrtive - GreenReaper (February 24, 2007)
  6. Email conversation with GreenReaper - Kelly Sauerwein (February 23, 2007)
  7. Study group LiveJournal profile
  8. The Sociology of Furry Fandom - David J. Rust (2000-2002)
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