Furries in the UK invited to answer a research survey from King’s College London

by Patch O'Furr

Where can a researcher start to invite furries for a survey? Well, it’s happened here before. Sometimes it means walking on eggshells about tricky topics. In this case, a researcher has requested to announce a survey not just looking at fandom, but sexual behavior in it. This comes with a message that “the furry fandom itself is not explicitly sexual,” and the research is inclusive for members who aren’t.

Experience says that it might get flak from furries who feel like it creates stereotypes. For them I encourage thinking about the point of sex ed in school. I like science, and know that studying or testing isn’t pushing something. If you want less stereotypes, this is how to replace them with facts. Of course it should be done professionally. For that reason, I got permission from the researcher to consult Furscience in case there was any reason to worry. Now I’m happy to help.

Researcher Ashley Brown sent this info, with a general FAQ to be as open as possible and address some of the more common questions about it.

THIS IS ONLY FOR PARTICIPANTS IN THE UK — but anyone can access the participant information sheet on the first page of the survey. It introduces the focus of the research, with advice about comfort, confidentiality, and where to go for assistance about it.

– Patch

Are you part of the furry fandom and have related sexual interests? Would you like to be involved in research? By taking a survey, you’ll be entered to win one of two £50 Amazon gift vouchers!

The link is here: https://kcliop.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5AyABQ3KByh95IN

A bit about me and this research:

My name is Ashley and I’m currently a PhD researcher at King’s College London conducting a study on a number of different interest groups, including furries. I’m looking at these groups in relation to experiences of discrimination, mental health, and sexual interests. While a good bit of the study asks about sexuality, we understand that not everyone who participates in the furry fandom do so for sexual reasons. There is no prerequisite for being interested in yiff/other sexual aspects of the furry fandom. However, the survey will still have questions that ask about arousal levels in relation to this, as we are trying to get a more detailed picture of the contexts in and extent to which people view this as being sexual, if at all. This was designed to investigate those with furry related sexual interests, but the questions are designed to accommodate/be relevant to furries without related sexual interests.

Other sexual interest groups included here are pet players, BDSM, age players and balloon fetishists.

My goal is to create a study that is all inclusive of people of different gender identities, sexual orientations, age, and backgrounds. This study takes about 30-45 minutes to complete, but I have it set up so you can come back and finish it within a week of starting it- just use the same device as you did when you began taking it.

This involves answering questions about your sexual fantasies, behavior, mental health, personality, experiences of discrimination, and demographic info. All responses are anonymous and we’re not collecting any identifiable info. I need you to help make this research as strong as possible!

What are the eligibility requirements?

You must:

    • Be a current resident of the United Kingdom
    • Be over 18 years of age
    • Have an interest or participate in one or more of the following: furries/fursuiting/murrsuiting, balloon fetishism, pet play, BDSM, age play, age regression, or adult baby/diaper wearing.

Why only the United Kingdom? I want to participate!

This is primarily due to legal reasons. We’re asking about sensitive material and not all countries would give ethical approval for this (especially about topics related to age play). Thus, our ethics board only approved this research in the UK. We hope one day we can make a study that’s inclusive of more countries!

I’m asexual- can I still take it?

Yes! if you read the instructions during the portion asking about fantasies and behavior, it asks you to indicate level of interests instead of level of arousal from a scale of very interested to very disinterested. This study recognizes that many asexuals enjoy participating in behaviors sometimes usually associated with these interests. Other portions of the survey may be less relevant to you, but please do your best to finish what you can.

My involvement in these behaviours isn’t sexual, is that okay?

Also yes! This survey is designed to include those who do this for both sexual or non-sexual reasons

I feel like some of the questions you asked here are a little vague or odd, why did you make them like this?

I didn’t make all of the questions! The only one’s written by us are the sexual fantasies and behaviours and the interest-specific questions. If some of these questions seem uncomfortable or odd, know that they were designed that way. It’s useful in data analysis later, so please respond as honestly as possible.

Part of research is ensuring the validity and reliability of your data- we do this by using previously tested and validated measures, like for anxiety and depression. These measures are sometimes a little vague, but just answer them to the best of your abilities. This is common and an unavoidable drawback of research in every subject. If the questions seem odd, trust me, they’re there for a reason! If you have issues with later parts of the survey, it’s probably not something I can address- they were created by other researchers and I can’t touch them!

Can I share this with other people?

Yes, I would love that! Feel free to share this with anyone- the more participants, the better.

Will you show us the results?

Yes! However, it may take awhile. This is a very large sample that I’ll be doing quite a bit of data analysis with, and it’s going to break down into multiple publications. I can come back and give preliminary results when I have them, but if you want the full results, please email me (ashley.brown@kcl.ac.uk) and I’ll put you on a spreadsheet as someone who will receive copies of the publications when I have them!

Please feel free to leave questions/comments! You will also be able to provide feedback on the survey itself.

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