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Furries from A to Z (Anthropomorphism to Zoomorphism)

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This study explored the furry identity. Furries are humans interested in anthropomorphic art and cartoons. Some furries have zoomorphic tendencies. Furries often identify with, and/or assume, characteristics of a special/totem species of nonhuman animal. This research surveyed both furries (n = 217) and non-furry individuals (n = 29) attending a furry convention and a comparison group of college students (n = 68). Furries commonly indicated dragons and various canine and feline species as their alternate-species identity; none reported a nonhuman-primate identity. Dichotomous responses (“yes” or “no”) to two key furry-identity questions (“do you consider yourself to be less than 100% human” and “if you could become 0% human, would you”) produced a two-by-two furry typology. These two independent dimensions are self-perception (undistorted versus distorted) and species identity (attained versus unattained). One-quarter of the furry sample answered “yes” to both questions, placing them in the “Distorted Unattained” quadrant. This type of furry has certain characteristics paralleling gender-identity disorder. To explore this parallel, the furry typology, and the proposed construct of “Species Identity Disorder” needs further research.

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, Social Science Division, Psychology, Niagara County Community College, Sanborn, NY 14132, USA;, Email: kgerbasi@niagaracc.suny.edu; 2: Former Undergraduates, Niagara County Community College, Sanborn, NY 14132, USA; 3: Associate Professor, Psychology, Social Science Division, Niagara County Community College, Sanborn, NY 14132, USA; 4: Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, Kent State University, Stark, 6000 Frank Ave., N. Canton, OH 44720, USA; 5: Chairman, Anthrocon, Inc., PO Box 476, Malvern, PA 19355, USA; 6: Graduate Student, Department of Psychology, Park Hall, SUNY Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260-4110, USA

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