Author Topic: Research on furries  (Read 2868 times)

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Offline aspect

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Research on furries
« on: December 17, 2011, 11:01:28 pm »
A quick couple of searches on Google Scholar shows there has been some research done into the phenomenon of the furry fandom. I was going to read some and review them but I finished the science fiction novel I was reading instead... so I'm just going to ask,

»Has anyone read any really good/informative research on furries?
»What do you think of the idea of research on furries?
»What studies do you think should be done / what questions do you have about the sociology or psychology of the fandom?

Personally I'm all for research, it's always better to understand ourselves better!

Offline Craulf

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Re: Research on furries
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 01:07:41 am »
I came accross a furry study one day, it was a rather long but interesting article. (http://www2.asanet.org/sectionanimals/articles/GerbasilFurries.pdf) I did some digging around, and aparently theres a website with a list of studies that people have done about the community in general, found here: http://www.furrysociology.net/studies.htm

It covers basically all areas such as age, gender, sexualtiy, time in the fandom, religion, political views, etc. Not sure if it is what you wanted, but it sure entertained me for a while :) Honestly, I don't think it would be possible to do research on why people are furry, or what they consider furry because everyone has their own opinions.
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Offline Chiscringle

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Re: Research on furries
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2011, 06:36:09 am »
A couple of years ago, I spent a semester reading all the surveys, sociographic stuff and psychological surveys.  It was interesting, but there isn't much around yet other than the two referenced here.  Whether species dymorphism is something that belongs in the DSM has yet to be adequately explored.  I think having peer reviewed studies about the fandom is a good thing.  It gives us press and a way to prove to people exactly what we are with science.
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Offline DreamerHusky

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Re: Research on furries
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2011, 03:16:10 pm »
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« Last Edit: December 22, 2014, 03:10:42 pm by DreamerHusky »

Offline aspect

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Re: Research on furries
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2011, 03:41:47 pm »
Interesting read, yeah, and somewhat what I was looking for. One part of what I'm curious about is whether there are... neurological differences maybe? associated with being a furry. I mean, every memory or idea is a difference is brain structure, but what I'm saying is that perhaps the practice of identifying with animals exercises a part of the brain more than it is for non-furries, in a way that might be measurable.

I also think maybe looking at a lot of art might cause measurable differences... ha, and after deciding to be a furry and spending time looking at furry art, I find that reading non-furry cartoons which happen to have animals in them my eyes will go to the animal first, expecting it to be a more important part of whatever scene than the humans, a habit I didn't have before.

I think there is such a thing as "statistical reality" which emerges with enough samples; there are enough furries in the world that even though most of us have widely different stories as how we came to the fandom, there is a statistical reality there, there is something actually possible to study, because of the quantity. For example I wouldn't expect every person calling themselves a furry to have neurological differences because of it, but if maybe a tenth of us do it still influences the culture.

Offline Rocket T. Coyote

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Re: Research on furries
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2011, 11:31:35 am »
Tuesday on NatGeo's Taboo, there will be a segment on furries.
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Offline Lynk

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Re: Research on furries
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2012, 12:45:22 am »
Tuesday on NatGeo's Taboo, there will be a segment on furries.

Not sure if this could be very bad, or very good...

Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Research on furries
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2012, 11:18:27 am »
I haven't read any of Gerbasi's reports yet because thos things are always so long and sometimes hard to understand if you're not a research major yourself. I did have a lengthy email exchange with her a few years back when she was still in the early stages of her work. What happened is I was at AC (in 2007 I think?) and was going to complete her survey they had in the con bags. A lot of the questions on there just seemed... off. Some I had no "best" answer for as it wanted, and others seemed to contradict questions asked earlier in the survey. I didn't turn it in because I felt it wasn't a good survey, and then I sent her an email to express my concerns. She was very nice and professional in her reply, and we ended up going back and forth on why the survey was what it was and the acadimic research process in general. By the end of it, I probably could have passed a first year research exam in college. :D

So I can say, in my opinion, that if you want to read what is probably the most accurate research, hers is the one to go to. But even her research and methods aren't the end all, be all on the topic. Even Gerbasi herself admits that the research is only as good as the study sample you use and she understands that there are a lot more furs and perhaps larger spectrum of people in the fandom that don't go to AC or other cons in general. The online surveys are a good way to reach these people, but the lack of being able to control the sample (i.e. making sure people don't do it twice, have friends do it that aren't in the fandom, etc) prevents her from being able to use it in any acadimic study. As a side note, I now wished I had completed the survey.

I know there's other studies out there, both from within and outside the fandom. If you want to get an idea of the makeup of the fandom, you should read up on as many as you can. Each one will have it's pros and cons in its methods. Then you can make up your own mind based on the conclusions in the various studies and what you've seen first hand... er... paw. :P
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Offline aspect

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Re: Research on furries
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2012, 04:48:04 pm »
While the Gerbasi study has its merits, my instinct is the questions could have been compared to other convention crowds/fandoms. For example the possibility that conventions tend to have more males than the corresponding fandoms could be tested against, say, trekkie cons versus self-identified trekkies in the population at large. Without such comparisons we don't know how to interpret the data.

Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Research on furries
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2012, 05:36:56 pm »
She is studying the fandom compared to the general public I think, which would make comparing it to other fandoms/conventions kinda meaningless. Not that a comparison study against other fandoms on its own wouldn't have merritt.
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Offline aspect

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Re: Research on furries
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2012, 01:57:25 am »
What I mean is, take fandoms for which a convention versus general identification sample can be compared. The convention sample is done at a con and the identification sample by some method which gets both people who don't go to cons and those who do. Give the survey to even the people who don't identify as in the fandom, and show that the aggregate results are not significantly different than the general population (this shows you got a good sample). Use this to judge how biased a con sample is in general.

Then use that data to make the comparison of furry con to general population more meaningful, more indicative of furries in general.

Offline Chiscringle

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Re: Research on furries
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2012, 08:44:10 am »
The Furry Research Center's report: http://www.furcenter.org/publications.php was an online survey with thousands of responses.  Should be somewhat more complete, though since it was online there was a lot less control over the process.
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Offline TheComet

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Re: Research on furries
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2012, 02:03:19 am »
I haven't read any of Gerbasi's reports yet because thos things are always so long and sometimes hard to understand if you're not a research major yourself. I did have a lengthy email exchange with her a few years back when she was still in the early stages of her work. What happened is I was at AC (in 2007 I think?) and was going to complete her survey they had in the con bags. A lot of the questions on there just seemed... off. Some I had no "best" answer for as it wanted, and others seemed to contradict questions asked earlier in the survey. I didn't turn it in because I felt it wasn't a good survey, and then I sent her an email to express my concerns. She was very nice and professional in her reply, and we ended up going back and forth on why the survey was what it was and the acadimic research process in general. By the end of it, I probably could have passed a first year research exam in college. :D


actually, contradictory/repetitive questions are part of an effective survey, they subconciously bring out more accurate responses by making you view the same question asked from multiple viewpoints :)


I've always wanted to see some stats about the furry community, especially ones on sexuality (becuase I doubt there are THAT many gay furries) and one on choice of species (80% foxes? :D)

Offline Storm Fox

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Re: Research on furries
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2012, 03:38:07 am »
I’m surprised that in all this time, no one has mentioned this one… https://sites.google.com/site/anthropomorphicresearch/past-results

It tends to cover a lot of the differences between furries, non-furs, therians, and otherkin, as well as many other issues.
And I found it to be quite interesting, pending that it's accurate.
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