January 31st, 2012

Ann Vole

critter update

The degu with the foot injury seems to have healed up real nice and once the hair grows back you will not be able to tell anything was wrong. I thought I had caught all the baby degus but when I counted them, there was only one grey degu yet 10 babies. Then I heard a degu baby sound from the cage instead of the pail I put the babies in and sure enough, one grey baby was hanging on to the side of the cage. This grey baby climbs everything but the other grey baby is scared of heights it seems and is one of the 2 babies who had to be moved by hand back to the cage bottom when I tried to teach them all to climb to the food hopper. There are still 4 very pregnant degus and a few others who might be so I still think this might be from one mother (who still seems fat and is the only one with noticeable nipples and she gently nips my fingers when I reach under her to get a baby to look at) but 11 babies is too many for a typical degu litter (usually between 3 and 8). I added a ramp to the cage to help the babies explore climbing and maybe for the injured degu but I noticed she prefers to use the cage wall to climb down on.
Ann Vole

gender identity and testicals

I found out recently that I had what is called "cryptorchidism" when I was born which is one or more testicles not descending into the scrotum. This is actually quite common and apparently no big deal from a medical perspective but is usually surgically repaired anyways if nature does not do it in the first few months. My problem was that the undescended testicle became infected and caused a long-term (several months) case of extreme swelling of the groin area. It was finally surgically repaired at 2 years old. I just took the "Bem Sex Role Inventory" test at this website:
and scored "+21" with the interpretation being as follows
Masculine -20 and under
Nearly Masculin -19 to -10
Androgynous -9 to +9
Nearly feminine +9 to +19
Feminine +20 and over
I found several studies on cryptorchidism and gender identity and they all concluded that there is no link to surgical repair of cryptorchidism nor to the resulting reduced testicular volume sometimes associated with the affected testicle in cryptorchidism (note that mine are the same size but one has a shorter connecting tissue). My conclusion is I am definitely a case of GID (Gender Identity Disorder and specifically a type of GID called "gender dysphoria") but that it is likely NOT a result of the cryptorchidism as is an obvious assumption to make the two connected.