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A reporter attending Anthrocon 2006 noted that "despite their wild image from Vanity Fair, MTV and CSI, furry conventions aren't about kinky sex between weirdos gussied up in foxy costumes", that conference attendees were "not having sex more than the rest of us", In October 2007, a Hartford Advocate reporter attended Fur Fright 2007 undercover because of media restrictions.

She learned that the restrictions were intended to prevent misinformation, and reported that the scandalous behavior she had expected was not evident.

These, with the IRC networks Fur Net and Anthrochat, form a key part of furry fandom. Fox, was first published on Compu Serve in 1986, predating the World Wide Web by several years, The phrases furry lifestyle and furry lifestyler first appeared in July 1996 on the newsgroup furry during an ongoing dispute within that online community.

Usenet newsgroups such as furry and alt.lifestyle.furry, popular from the mid-1990s to 2005, have been replaced by topic-specific forums, mailing lists and Live Journal communities. The Usenet newsgroup alt.lifestyle.furry was created to accommodate discussion beyond furry art and literature, and to resolve disputes concerning what should or should not be associated with the fandom; its members quickly adopted the term furry lifestylers, and still consider the fandom and the lifestyle to be separate social entities.

A furry convention is for the fans get together to buy and sell artwork, participate in workshops, wear costumes, and socialize.

However, fans consider the origins of furry fandom to be much earlier, with fictional works such as Kimba, The White Lion released in 1965, Richard Adams' novel Watership Down, published in 1972 (and its 1978 film adaptation), as well as Disney's Robin Hood as oft-cited examples.The survey specifically avoided adult-oriented websites to prevent bias.Another survey found that 96.3% of male furry respondents reported viewing furry pornography, compared with 78.3% of female; males estimated 50.9% of all furry art they view is pornographic, compared with 30.7% female.A portion of the fandom is sexually interested in zoophilia (sex with animals), although a majority take a negative stance towards it.An anonymous survey in 2008 found 17% of respondents reported zoophilia.

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