6.2 Demographics

On average, furry artists are older than non-artist furries (see figure below).[tagcite tags=FF14-AC15] However, the shape of the age distribution is comparable to that of the broader furry fandom, with the exception of 18-22 year old furries, which may be a product of sampling bias: artists recruited in these samples were those who had tables in their respective conventions’ dealer areas, which means they were established enough in their careers to justify the cost of their table. As such, our sample likely draws upon artists who have been in the fandom for a while or who have spent many years honing their craft. Going forward, we plan to study artists in the fandom with online studies, to see whether this tendency for artists to be older than the general furry population holds outside of a convention setting, with a broader, more representative sample of artists.

6-2 age composition by artist

The table below[tagcite tags=AC15] shows that artists in the fandom have a very different sex/gender composition than the rest of the fandom—they are far more likely to identify as female than male (almost reversing the proportions entirely), and, at least among artists who self-identified a furries, were twice as likely to self-identify as genderqueer or non-binary. We are, as of yet, unsure why artists show such a dramatically different sex/gender composition compared to the rest of the furry fandom, and future research will be investigating this issue. However, data suggest the possibility that the furry fandom as a whole, being predominantly male, may seem like a “boys club” to some women,[tagcite tags=section12] which may discourage women from joining the fandom or preferentially select for people whose gender identity is more in-line with traditionally masculine traits. For females who have an “in,” however (e.g., “I’m an artist, I belong here”), it may be easier to fit into the fandom. It remains for future research to these hypotheses.

Sex and Gender among Artists and Non-Artists in the Fandom

Category Artist (Furry) Artist (Non- Furry) Furries
Intersex 0% 0% 0.2%
Sex: Male 29.5% 20.8% 72.4%
Sex: Female 70.5% 79.2% 27.4%
Gender: Man 34.1% 29.2% 67.1%
Gender: Woman 50.0% 66.7% 23.3%
Genderqueer/Non- Binary 20.5% 4.2% 10.0%
Across two samples of artists, the data suggest that while many convention-working artists make at least a portion of their income through their art, less than one in three said art was their sole source of income, suggesting that most artists in the fandom—even among those who sell art at conventions, supplement their pay with other jobs.[tagcite tags=FF14-AC15] Artists also indicated that most of their friends in the fandom (45.5% to 61.3%) were also artists, suggesting that there may be some merit to considering “artists” to be a distinct and cohesive subgroup within the fandom.[tagcite tags=FF14-AC15]

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