Relatively little is known about the process of fursona creation. For example, while many furries describe their choice of fursona species as inspired by a particular show, character, story, legend, or exemplar of a species (e.g., a famous animal, a pet, etc.), many furries feel that their fursona came from within them, in an act of creation (as opposed to “merely copying” a character from a show). To study fursona creation, we asked furries to indicate, on a 7-point scale, the extent to which they felt that their fursonas came from entirely within themselves, from entirely outside themselves, or somewhere in the middle.1
It’s apparent from the figure above that, for most furries, their fursonas come primarily from within themselves (M = 2.53). That said, however, only about 25% of furries said that their fursona came entirely from within, suggesting that there was at least some outside influence on their fursona. It should also be noted that very few furries said that their fursonas came entirely from outside of them. Contrary to misconceptions that furries simply dress up as characters from shows or stories, it seems that most fursonas involve an element of personal creation. One could also interpret a fursona species that came entirely from outside oneself as meaning that the person felt they had no choice in how their fursona manifested itself (e.g., a spirit guide)
A subsequent analysis revealed that people whose fursona came from an outside source experienced significantly lower well-being, lower self-esteem, and less of a sense of having a coherent and developed sense of identity. This association does not mean, of course, that the former caused the latter, and further research is needed to explain this relationship.