Given the diversity of the furry community, it is unsurprising that there are disagreements about what furries actually do. Based on the suggestions from furries gathered at conventions and fur meets, a list of 14 different furry-related activities was created. We asked participants to identify, on a 7-point scale, the extent to which they believed that each item was a significant part of what furries do (1 = completely disagree to 7 = completely agree). As the figure below illustrates, there are several activities which are nearly-universal aspects of the fandom (e.g., “Art,” “Community,” “Acceptance”).1
Contrary to popular stereotypes about the furry fandom, “Drama” and “Sex” were not considered focal or important activities in the furry fandom.
Given that the furry fandom encompasses a wide range of activities, including many different subgroups and related fandoms, we decided to ask participants to indicate whether or not they identified with any of a number of other groups commonly affiliated with the furry fandom.2
Furry Group Identification
In line with other findings 8 , some of the most prominent interests associated with furries were an interest in anime and science fiction. Most furries also indicated that they were self-identified gamers. A great many furries self-identify as writers and musicians, a finding consistent with our past research on this topic. Surprisingly, nearly half of all participants indicated that they owned a fursuit, a number far higher than that typically found in previous surveys. One possibility is that convention-going furries may have the financial resources to afford a fursuit in a way that online furries cannot. Alternatively, it may also be the case that those with fursuits are particularly drawn to conventions, where they will have the opportunity to display their suits to other furries and to the public, especially at Anthrocon, a convention renowned for its public fursuit parade.
In past studies, we looked into the label of “popufur” to try and better understand the traits associated with furries who self-identify as popufur (e.g., finding that they were significantly more likely to be bullied by other furries). In the present study, we found that those identifying as popufur scored significantly higher on a measure of narcissism than those who did not call themselves popufur (3.29 / 7.00 vs. 2.33 / 7.00). Fursuiters were also more than twice as likely as non-fursuiters (7% vs. 3%) to self-identify as popufur, a difference that was statistically significantly.9