At the end of many of our surveys, and in several topic-specific focus groups, we have asked furries to discuss important ideas or issues that were present in the fandom. Oftentimes, we ask whether there were aspects of the fandom they disliked, considered to be a problem, or which they would change if they could. Over the years, these data have been compiled and used to form a list of some the most controversial or contentious issues in the furry fandom.1
— The fandom is too sexual, and too openly so (e.g., behaviur/porn in public settings).
— The fandom has a negative public image (e.g., people associate furries with sex or deviant behavior).
— The fandom includes/is too tolerant of deviant fetishes.
— There is too much drama/conflict within the fandom (e.g., between subgroups, or within local furry groups).
— There are problematic furs (e.g., furries who cause problems within local groups) and subgroups in the fandom (e.g., bronies, therians, babyfurs, nazifurs)
— The fandom is too restrictive (e.g., it tries to suppress sexuality or exclude others).
— Members of the fandom are immature/childish, and can be socially awkward and make others feel uncomfortable.
— There is a problem defining what furry is and is not.
— The furry fandom is too open, and allows in too many people that it should not be associating itself with.
— There is a problem with stereotyping within the furry fandom (e.g., groups stereotyping other groups within the fandom).
— There is a sense of entitlement within the fandom (e.g., people demanding unreasonable things of artists).
— The fandom is becoming too mainstream, and this is diluting the content of the fandom.
— There are significant gender issues within the fandom (e.g., the number of, and treatment of, women within the fandom).
— Bigotry, discrimination, intolerance, and bullying in the fandom, and a recognition that bullying does occur in the fandom. Despite the fact that it may not be physical bullying, significant social bullying occurs (e.g., rumors, ostracism, etc.).
— Despite the fandom’s purported openness and acceptance, physical disabilities still receive significant negative attention.
— Issues such as spirituality and religion are looked down upon or discouraged by the fandom.
In another study2 we asked furries to indicate the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with a number of contentious statements about the furry fandom. They replied on a scale from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 7 (Strongly Agree). As the data in the table below show, some topics were more controversial than others: furries neither disagreed nor agreed strongly about the presence of “drama” in the furry fandom, and disagreed somewhat about whether furries need to worry about negative publicity and the fandom. Other issues reached a far greater consensus (e.g., the fandom should be open to everyone).
|Furries ruin everything.||2.79|
|Drama is something that comes with the furry fandom.||4.03|
|Furries need to stop worrying about what others think of them.||5.44|
|I want to own a fursuit.||5.98|
|I wish the fandom did more to exclude specific furries from events.||2.51|
|The fandom is too open about sex.||2.89|
|Furries need to worry more about negative publicity.||3.56|
|The fandom isn’t open enough about sex.||2.61|
|One of the main reasons I’m a furry is because I like furry porn.||3.10|
|The fandom should be open to anyone, no matter who they are.||5.95|