What is a Furry? Survey

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Fan Survey
Title: What is a Furry? Survey
Surveyor: Genuflect
Date(s): Feb 1, 2020 - Feb 9, 2020
Medium: Google forms
Fandom(s): Furry
External Links: Results
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The "What is a Furry?" survey was a short survey hosted on Google Forms with the intent of gathering data on the beliefs of the furry community and those who are familiar with the furry community. It was advertised in several online locations, including: Toyhouse, furry groups on DeviantART, the furry Reddit, Tumblr, and Furrypile. It gathered 162 responses, including from the surveyor herself. The results may be viewed here.

Questions

There were 11 required multiple choice questions and one optional written response.

  • Do you identify as a furry?
  • Do you have anthro or quad animal characters, but don't identify as a furry?
  • How long have you been a furry for?
  • Is "Furry" a fandom?
  • Can a furry be based on media? (The Lion King, Zootopia, Watership Down, etc)
  • Is an animal character based on animal media a fan-character or a furry?
  • Can an animal character who neither walks nor talks be a furry or a fursona?
  • If someone has a fursona are they automatically a furry, regardless of how they identify?
  • Do you believe the designation of someone as a furry is dependent upon how that person identifies, regardless of if they have anthro, feral, or fan characters?
  • If an artist who ONLY draws media-based animal characters, such as The Lion King, says that they are a furry, are they a furry despite being confined to one animal-based fandom?
  • Do you believe there is gate keeping among furries as to who is or isn't a furry?
  • Any last thoughts?

Promotion

The survey did not include questions about where respondents came from. However, Toyhouse users were especially responsive and quick to take the survey, as the first day the survey was open it was only advertised on Toyhouse. A large majority of these original responses were not furries, but one should note their responses were relatively the same as actual responses from furries.

Results

Demographics

The demographics between furries and non-furries was a nearly even split, with 50.6% identifying as furries and 49.4% as non-furries. Of the non-furries 38.9% had anthropomorphic or animal characters, leaving only 10.5% who had no animal characters at all. Of those who identified as furries, 14.8% had been furries for 1-3 years, 14.2% for 4-6 years, 9.3% for 7-10 years, 11.7% for over a decade, and only 1.9% had been a furry for less than a year.

What is a Furry?

Of the 162 responses, 84% believed furry is a fandom. 89.5% believe a furry can be based on media, such as the Lion King, Zootopia, or Watership Down, leaving a mere 17 responses (10.5%) who believed otherwise. In that vein, when asked if such a character is a fan character or a furry, 85.14% believe the character can be both depending on what the artist identifies as. 10.6% believed it would be a fan character only, and 3.1% believed it would be a furry only.

68.5% believed an animal character who neither walks nor talks can be a fursona, while 31.5% disagreed. 80.2% believed having a fursona does not automatically make one a furry, while 19.8% believed having a fursona automatically makes one a furry regardless of how they identify. Similarly, 80.9% believed furry is a self identifier and 19.1% did not. A more wordy question presented a scenario in which an artist who only draws the Lion King characters says they are a furry, though they are restricted to one media-based source. The majority, 90.7%, believed that yes, this person would qualify as a furry. A small minority, 9.3%, said they wouldn't. When asked if they believed there is gatekeeping among the furry community, 46.5% said they didn't know, 38.3% said yes, and 14.2% said no, making the issue rather divided.

The question about whether an animal who neither walks nor talks, while meant in reference to feral animals who speak no human language nor stand upright, was, though unintentional, worded ableistly. At the point the questionnaire host was informed of this the survey had already been closed. This likely lead to some confusion among respondents and may have resulted in this question having inaccurate results, as non-verbal furries are still furries and furries who cannot walk are still furries.

Comments

The final question was an optional question calling for any last thoughts. 53 of the 162 opted to respond to this question. These are a few notable quotes.

I do believe animal-based fandom OCs are both furry and fan-characters, it's not mutually exclusive IMO.
Was George Orwell a furry because he wrote Animal Farm?
I don't think its a fandom because there is no content to be a fan of aside from the most basic thing- animals. And that makes no sense, since you don't call people who are fans of cars the "car fandom".
I believe there's a difference between being a "furry" and being in the "furry fandom". If someone really likes anthropomorphic characters, they are a furry by definition. Now if someone wants to be a part of the fandom, it's up to them.
One thing i would like to say is being a Furry does not automatic make someone a zoophile , nor does it mean that they are fetish-obsessed , sick , depraved people who only think about their fetishes and sex . There are plenty of normal people who are furries with or without fetishes who are just as a hobby .
I have seen characters go from anthropomorphic to completely non-anthropomorphic and vice-versa. It all depends on whether the creator of the character considers their character Furry or not.
We furries have a big tent, welcoming all from casual participants to committed lifestylers.

Toyhouse Comments

A few responders opted to voice their opinions in the original Toyhouse thread instead of the survey.

Interesting survey! I’m surprised to hear some people believe fan-characters cannot be furries. I know Poke-sonas, for example, are decently popular within some parts of the Furry Fandom. I think it depends on the artist’s intention or/and context, really. There are no “rules” set in stone. Stolen
I personally always associated 'furry' art with the whole animalistic humans drawn with engorged sexual organs and smut art. That's what that term reminds me of. Not sure if it's accurate, or not. I associate anthros with people that write or wrote fanfiction for non-sexual stories like redwall, teenagemutant ninja turtles, the warriors cats novels, and so on. Very different subsets of people, often grouped together. I dunno. Theabsintheart
imo (as a furry) you're only a furry if you identify as one. your animal characters (no matter if they're feral or anthro) are only furries if you identify them under that term. as an example, one of my friends has anthro characters but does not identify as a furry for personal reasons. Hawksbluevibes