Furry Survey Explanation of Questions
This page is a question-by-question explanation of the terms used in the Furry Survey, intended as a resource for people with concerns over potential ambiguity or misrepresentative answers.
1. Please enter your birth month and year
In the past, this question asked respondents to provide their age, but a fair number of people wrote a year down anyway. In the best case scenario, people provided an accurate age, but it was not possible to determine later how old they were when I was attempting to analyse the survey results. It would be helpful to provide both a month and a year, but in a pinch, the year alone will suffice.
2. What is your biological sex?
Within margin of error, we can treat this as a binary question, which deals only with your biological sex, and not with your self-identity. If you do not believe that these options are sufficient, choose "other" and, if you would like, include a note at the end of the survey. I read all such notes.
3. What is your self-identified gender
Many people identify differently from their biological sex. If this is not true for you, you can choose either "Male, completely" or "Female, completely" as appropriate. If, however, you fall somewhere else along the gender continuum, please choose the option that is closest to how you self-identify.
4. What is your sexual orientation?
This question is divided along a 7-point scale derived loosely from Kinsey's. These 7 points should be sufficient for most people.
While bisexuality implies attraction to both male- and female-gendered individuals, pansexuality implies a rejection of a binary gender division; that is to say that "male" or "female" is an irrelevant or overly-limited distinction.
Asexuality, like pansexuality, lies outside of the traditional continuum. This option is intended for those who are not sexually attracted to anyone, or who have no interest in sexual relationships.
5. Where do you live?
This question should be self-explanatory. If you are travelling abroad, for business or for school, please choose your permanent residence.
6. How large is the town in which you make your permanent residence?
"Permanent address" is probably your mailing address. Use as your answer the place you call "home"; e.g., if you are currently living in a dorm out of state, the appropriate answer is probably your home town, not where your college or university is located. You may also consider taking into account the size of the metropolitan area in which you live, if your home is in a suburb.
7. What is your race?
Considering that the bulk of survey-takers are American, these answers should be broadly sufficient. If they are not, please write in any additional information, and remember that you can choose multiple options if you, like I, are a mutt.
8. Please describe your spirituality:
These answers should encompass most people. If you practise a different religion, or a blend of other religions, choose "other" and briefly describe your religion in the space provided.
9. Please describe your political views:
This question categorises people based off their political inclinations along two axes, economic and social. If you favour unrestricted, free-market capitalism, you would be at the far-right end of the spectrum; conversely if you believe that the state should exert full control over the economy, you would be at the far left. Most people will fall somewhere in between.
If you believe that there should be no restrictions on social behaviour from the perspective of the state, you would be at the far right of the social continuum; conversely, if you believe that the state has a vested interest in controlling all aspects of an individual's life, you would fall on the far left. Again, most people will fall somewhere in between.
For American political orientations, "Republicans" generally fall to the centre-right of the economic continuum, and the medium-far left of the social continuum. "Democrats" generally fall on the centre-left of the economic continuum, and the centre-right of the social continuum. Libertarianism as a philosophy generally resides on the medium-far right of the economic continuum and the far right of the social continuum.
- A society at the extreme far right of the economic continuum and the extreme far right of the social continuum, implying no restrictions on individual activity and a complete rejection of any marketplace controls would likely approximate Randian "Objectivism".
- A society at the extreme far left of the economic continuum and the extreme far right of the social continuum, implying complete personal freedom but heavy state control of the economy, suggests an anarcho-communist or anarcho-syndicalist society.
- A society at the extreme far right of the economic continuum and the extreme far left of the economic continuum, implying complete economic freedom but little personal liberty, might look like Max Barry's Jennifer Government, with effective corporate control of individual behaviour.
- A society at the extreme far left of the economic continuum and the extreme far left of the social continuum, implying no economic freedom and no personal freedom, suggests a Stalinist combination of planned economy and strict authoritarianism.
10. What is your occupation:
This is, again, a fairly broad question. If you are a student who also works, you should make a decision as to which one best describes you. If what you do involves the fandom in some way, regardless of what it is, please choose "creative or other within the furry fandom" and, as needed, explain in the text box provided by "other" (but do not choose "other")
11. Please indicate your highest level of education:
Here, "college" is taken to mean all post-secondary education, including vocational training, four-year universities, and technical institutions. If you have started but not completed high school, a post-secondary education, or a graduate-level education but are in the process of completing it and intend to finish doing so, please choose the "ongoing" option that is most relevant to you. The question assumes a hierarchy where postsecondary education requires a high school background, etc; if this is untrue, please indicate under "other" (but you do not need to choose "other")
12. What is your current relationship status?
I have tried to include most possible answers here. If the provided options are unsatisfactory, please choose "other" and briefly describe the nature of your relationship (not like a Penthouse letter, just let me know how I can characterise it)
13. How strongly do you consider yourself part of the furry fandom?
This is, of course, a personal opinion. Basically, take it to mean "if somebody asked you, 'are you a furry?', how quickly and intensely would you respond". If you consider yourself only peripherally attached to the fandom--say, if you're just in it as an artist who takes comissions--then you might choose "1" or "2". If you bark at the mailman, you may choose "10", "none more furry".
14. How long, in years, have you known about the furry fandom?
Generally, provide a round number. If you have known about it for less than a year, you can enter a decimal number, such as ".5" or ".75", for 6 or 9 months. The box is limited to three characters.
15. How long have you considered yourself a furry?
This number should be equal or less than the answer provided for Q14. If in retrospect, you believe that you have always been a furry, the number can be larger, but consider such an answer carefully.
16. How many other furries do you know?
In the past, people wrote massive numbers, such as everyone who had attended a convention, or their entire IM buddy list. In answering this, please consider only the people that you know as more than a screen name--that is, that you would describe as friends or acquaintances to someone else. If all you know is their name, they probably do not count.
17. How many other furries have you met in person?
Again, this number should not be the entire attendance of Further Confusion, but should encompass people who you would consider yourself to know in some fashion. Your local meetup group may all fit in this category.
18. Who knows that you are a furry?
Choose as many boxes as are appropriate. If it is common knowledge that you are a furry, please choose only that option, as the others are implied from that choice.
19. How positively do you think non-furries respond to furriness?
This should be taken to mean the general opinion; obviously, people will have different opinions between different persons. When answering, consider the general opinion of the public. It may be that you think the public has no knowledge at all of furriness, which is a reasonable answer.
20. Do people who know that you are a furry respond to you differently?
As before, this should reflect the general beliefs of the people who know that you are a part of the fandom. If nobody knows that you are a furry, choose the last option. If the reaction is so mixed that you cannot properly describe it as being generally one way or another, choose "The reaction is mixed"; otherwise, try to broadly describe the response.
21. Among people who are aware of the furry fandom, would you characterise their perception as:
Note the caveat, "among people who are aware of the furry fandom". If you do not know anyone who is a non-furry but aware of the fandom, leave this question blank; otherwise, choose your answer based on those people who know about the fandom.
22. How strongly do you consider yourself human?
For some people, furriness is a just a pasttime or a hobby. For others, it represents more deeply-held aspects of their personality. Some furries do not consider themselves to be human, but rather an avatar of a different creature. Please choose the answer that seems most accurate to you. If none fits at all, you may write your own answer in, or expand upon the answer you gave.
23. Do you represent yourself in the fandom as a different gender than your biological sex?
There has been some discussion, of late, of people who roleplay as a character that is different than their biological sex. It may be that your primary furry persona--or one of your main avatars, if you have more than one--fits this description, in which case choose the latter option. Note that this is different from your biological sex, not your gender; it may be that your character is perfectly in line with your gender, but that itself is different from your biological sex. I understand this.
24. On a scale of 1-10, how important do you think sex is to the furry fandom?
This is the fandom as a whole, including yourself. If you believe the fandom to be in large part a sexual fetish, your answer will tend towards the "Extremely important" side of the scale; if, on the other hand, you think that sex is an ancillary or less part of the fandom, your answers will be closer to "1".
25. On a scale of 1-10, how important is sex to you personally, in the context of the furry fandom?
As this survey is anonymous, feel free to be honest here, one way or the other. If you do not participate in furry sexuality (probably generally cybersex, what used to be known as TS), your answer may be towards the bottom; if, on the other hand, you are the Don Juan of the furry interwebs, you may reasonably consider the answer to be closer to "10" unless there are factors that play equal or larger roles for you.
26. On a scale of 1-10, how important do you believe sex is to other furries?
Having answered the question above about your own sexuality, this question asks you to consider how important you suspect other furries find sex, as before presuming complete honesty. If you believe the fandom is conventlike in its sexual restraint, you might choose an answer close to "1"; if, on the other hand, you believe that most furry hangouts should come with red lights on the outside, your answer may be closer to "10".
27. On a scale of 1-10, how important do you think the public--among those who are aware of it--believes sex is to the furry fandom?
This question is asked irrespective of what you provided in answer to Q.24 and Q.26. Among those who are aware of it--as before, note this caveat--how important do you think the public believes sex is to the furry fandom? If you think that the public is unaware of furry sexuality, your answer might be "1"; if you believe the public sees the furry fandom as an orgy with more lint, your answer is liable to be close to "10".
28. Furry activities -- how often do you:
Most of these should be fairly self explanatory. Choose the answer that is closest within reason; if you attend two furry conventions per year, the appropriate answer may be "several times a year" as opposed to "yearly," but select the answer that you believe most accurately represents you.
29. Non-furry activities -- how often do you:
All these answers describe a non-furry focus. That is, these are non-furry activities, or things that have nothing to do with the fandom. If you play video games online once per day, however, you should choose "daily" even if you are predominantly playing them with other furries. "Convention" here is predominantly taken to mean sci-fi or anime or similar conventions and probably should not include professional conventions.
30. Would you describe yourself as:
Among "artist," "writer," and "musician" no distinction is made between professionals and hobbyists. You may consider this question as what you would list as your interests or hobbies on Facebook or something similar. The two terms "plushophile" and "zoophile" are held here to have an explicitly sexual definition, namely people who are sexually aroused by or attracted to stuffed animals and unstuffed animals, respectively. Again, please answer these questions honestly.
31. Regardless of your answer to Q30, please describe your general feelings about the following:
This question is intended to gauge your general response to these activities. If you do not like furry conventions, or believe that fursuiting is not your cup of tea, your answer will be closer to the left. If, on the other hand, you love furry conventions and look forward to attending each one, you may have a more positive response. For artwork and writing, this may be about the general quality, or its relationship to the fandom, or even just how much you enjoy it.
32. On a scale of 1-10, how important do you think the following are to the furry fandom?
This does not necessarily need to be treated like a ranking question, but you should consider the relative importance of each of these elements. Which would the fandom not be the same without? What elements are inextricably linked to furry fandom? Which of these are most important to you, personally?