XIV. Con-Going vs. Online Samples

14.1 Age

To test whether convention-going samples of furries differed significantly from online samples of furries, we compared the results of our largest online furry survey🐾 to the results of a convention-based survey conducted at around the same time.🐾

14-1 average age

Convention-going furries were older, on average, than those in our online survey (28.7 years old vs. 23.0 years old). There are a number of possible explanations for this observation. One possibility is that older furries were more likely than younger furries to complete/return the surveys, suggesting that our obtained results may have been due to sampling bias. It may be the case that older furries have been to more conventions than younger furries, and may have been more willing to stop and complete our survey than younger furries who may have been in a rush to experience a convention for the first time. Older furries may also have been more interested in the idea of furry research than younger furries, and may have been more motivated to turn in surveys. All of these explanations suggest that the average age is younger, but due to sampling bias our sample was a bit older than the actual average age of furries present. It is also entirely possible, however, that the furries attending Furry Fiesta were older—a convention can be quite expensive, and it’s plausible that people in their late 20s (who are more likely to have stable, better-paying jobs) were more able to afford going to a convention than furries in their late teens/early 20s.

Another possibility is that there are simply more age 30+ furries (“greymuzzles”) in attendance at conventions than online, which would push the average age upward. It may be the case that age 40+ furries may simply be less active in online furry communities like FurAffinity, but nonetheless actively attend conventions and other in-person gatherings. While we can only speculate on the reason for the data collected, however, we can say that, despite these between- sample differences, the furry fandom is nevertheless a relatively young one, with an average age likely somewhere in the 20s.

14.2 Sex and Gender

To test whether convention-going samples of furries differed significantly from online samples of furries, we compared the results of our largest online furry survey 🐾 to the results of a convention-based survey conducted at around the same time.🐾

14-2 sample con sex gender

There were, by percent of furry population, more women among convention-going furries than in our online sample. These results may have interesting implications. First, it’s worth noting that a similar trend has been observed in our samples of convention-going and online anime fans.🐾 This suggests that an explanation for this phenomenon should apply to both samples. One possibility is based on the fact that artists in the fandom are far more likely to be women, who, as a group (artists), may be more represented at a furry convention than online.🐾 Coupled with the fact that women are more likely than men to report economic reasons for being a part of the fandom,🐾 this is evidence that there may be more commercial female furry artists than male furry artists, which would make it more likely that such artists would be in attendance at a furry convention to sell their art, which could possibly explain the gender disparity between the samples.

14.3 Time in Fandom

To test whether convention-going samples of furries differed significantly from online samples of furries, we compared the results of our largest online furry survey 🐾 to the results of a convention-based survey conducted at around the same time.🐾

14-3 sample con time in fandom

On average, convention-going furries report having been in the fandom for longer than furries in our online sample. These numbers have been consistently found across multiple surveys.🐾

14-3 con sample age of identification
14-3 con sample age joined

Convention-going furries were also older when they first considered themselves to be a furry and when they first encountered/became a part of the furry community. This may be a by-product of convention-going furries being older than online furries,🐾 but it may also be the case that people who are older (and presumably more mature) when they get into the fandom may be more likely to attend furry conventions.

14.4 Furry Identification

To test whether convention-going samples of furries differed significantly from online samples of furries, we compared the results of our largest online furry survey 🐾 to the results of a convention-based survey conducted at around the same time.🐾

14-4 con sample identification within fandom

Convention-going furries did not significantly differ from online furries with regard to the extent to which they identified themselves as part of the furry fandom. The figure suggests that while there may be very slight differences—they were not statistically significant—the overall shape of the curves are approximately the same, suggesting that the two samples are similar enough to be considered functionally equivalent or comparable in their affiliation with the furry fandom.