10.2 Experienced Stigma

Numerous negative stereotypes exist about furries, often perpetuated by negative or inaccurate media portrayals of furries as sexual deviants, socially awkward, or people with an unusual (e.g., fursuits) or, in some places illegal (e.g., bestiality) fetish. As a result of the prevalence of these negative portrayals, we hypothesized that furries would perceive the outside world as particularly unaccepting and hostile toward furries.

In one study, furries indicated that they felt non-furries were prejudiced against furries and that they expected to be treated worse when people learned that they were a furry; these beliefs were even stronger in people who more strongly identified with the furry fandom.1 Furries felt that more of this stigma was coming from society in general than from members of similar fandoms (e.g., anime fans), who they may have felt would be more sympathetic due to their sharing comparable interests.

In another study,2 furries were found to expect greater backlash and disapproval from others if it were discovered that they were a furry. These results, when combined with other findings that furries are also the least likely to self-disclose their identity to others,3 suggest that furries’ decision to not self-disclose is likely influenced by the fact that they expect negative repercussions if they did. And there may be some truth to this: other studies have suggested that among the different fan groups studied, furries and bronies were consistently the most negatively rated, suggesting that others, even those in comparable fan groups (e.g., anime fans) hold a generally unfavorable impression of furries. Further research in to the nature of this stigmatization, its effects, and its origins, are planned as topics for future studies.

As a way of studying the extent to which prejudice exists against furries, future studies are planned in which furries and non-furries are asked to indicate the extent to which they would want a furry person to be in a number of important positions. While data is not yet available for non-furry samples, in a recent study furries indicated that furries were surprisingly lukewarm about the idea of furries having power or being professionals (e.g., president, physician) but are much more enthusiastic about having a furry as a friend, dating a furry, or having a furry as a neighbor. Future studies will show how these results compare to the general population’s belief about the desirability of furries in these positions.


  1. Furry Fiesta 2012 and International Online Survey III
  2. IARP 2014 3-fandom study
  3. See 10.1 Disclosure


  1. Dogfox39

    This means alot to me and i suffer many stigma from my classmates.

  2. steve

    Does your study include Chinese mainland? If not, do you have any plans to include it?
    Of course, as this article says, Furry is also stigmatized in China, so of course my name is not real and my email address is anonymized, but unfortunately this email does not seem to be sent directly on your website, so I filled in someone else’s email address in the mailbox column, which is my real email address: [redacted by Admin]

    • Admin

      Comments submitted to this website go directly to the administrator of the website, and are moderated for language and relevance. I’ve received your message and have redacted any personally identifying information. The answer to your main question is that we do not currently have any data about Furries in China.

  3. Ray

    Just a quick question, where did you get the data from? was it a survey you guys made or? Because I am doing this for a essay in school and I just wanted to see if its credible information or not.

    • Admin

      The links to “Who We Are,” and “What We Do,” should broadly answer your question. More specifically, all Furscience publications, whether peer-reviewed journals articles, in our published books, or published content to this website, are referenced where appropriate, and all references describe where and how the data was collected. The most up-to-date data, covering 10 year’s worth of data collection, can be found in our latest book.

      I hope that helps you, and best of luck with your essay 🙂


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