July 23rd, 2015

fan demographics: gender and sexuality

For the next round of posts, I’m going to focus on some of the ways fans described themselves in 2008. In order to get a sense of who was participating in the 2008 Fan Fiction survey, the participants were asked for some general demographic information. At the time, I wanted to get a sense of the mix of fans taking the survey. Now, I’d love to know what you make of this data.

2) gender and sexuality

The vast majority of fans participating in the survey (96%) identified as female. Many participants identified as heterosexual (68%), but a significant portion of participants (32%) identified as non-heterosexual, including the 23% of participants that identified themselves as bisexual. That’s roughly a third of participants identifying as something other than straight.

— From Fandom Then/Now: The Participants

I’ve got a few different things I’m wondering about this and I’d love to get your thoughts.
  • First, what do you make of this data? Is there anything else you think we should pay attention to here?
  • Also, how much does this match with your experience of fans and fandoms today?
  • Finally, how do you feel about surveys collecting this kind of information about fans? Do we need this kind of data? Is it useful?

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