2.11 Furry as a Choice

We asked furries and non-furries whether they believed that someone has control over whether they are a furry or not, with the options of “yes,” “no” or “I don’t know.” In the figure below, furries were twice as likely as non-furries were to say that furry was not a choice.1 This may highlight a potential point of tension between furries and non-furries who may hold negative attitudes toward furries: to the extent that non-furries believe that a person who chooses to be furry could simply “stop being furry” to avoid social stigma, they may feel even more negatively about that person. Conversely, to the extent that a furry feels that they are unable to change who they are (i.e., what they find interesting), they may feel powerless against stigma or feel compelled to conceal their furry identity.2

Belief that furry is a choice

References

  1. International Online Furry Survey: Winter 2011
  2. See 10.1 Disclosure

1 Comment

  1. Uthalla Raptor

    Personally, I think furry, like sexual orientation or gender identity, is something people do not really have control over. Even regarding people who leave the fandom, I suspect many continue to consume or at least appreciate furry media and have just primarily withdrawn from the social sphere/community of the fandom. Being furry is not a simple switch you can turn on and off. I left the fandom for around 10 years (but have recently returned) and while I did not actively seek out furry content during those years, I never stopped appreciating it when I encountered it.

    IMHO certain people are just drawn to anthropomorphized animals. I do not believe that it is merely the result of exposure to anthropomorphic characters during an individual’s youth that results in someone becoming furry. Out of the millions, if not billions, that have been exposed to anthropomorphic characters only a small portion are drawn to these characters in the way furries are. The idea of anthropomorphized animals speaks to something within furries that not all people possess and I do not believe this draw that furries feel is a choice.

    Because of the stigma surrounding furries today, and perhaps because of disgust and or frustration with the community embracing it, a person feeling this draw might choose to ignore and deny it, but I do not believe they can simply choose to stop feeling it. It is an impulse that I believe is deeply ingrained in the people that possess it.

    The impulse to merge animal and human traits into fantastical beings is not a new one. Some of the earliest forms of human art feature animal/human hybrids and it is an idea that can be found throughout all of history. Today it is often relegated to children’s entertainment and fantasy stories. However, there were times and places where anthropomorphized animals played a central role in a society’s religion and culture. It is a theme/idea that has endured throughout the ages and has found modern expression in the furry fandom.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *