Guevedoces: The 'girls' who grow penises at the age of 12

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Guevedoces: The 'girls' who grow penises at the age of 12 Empty Guevedoces: The 'girls' who grow penises at the age of 12

Post by Guest on Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:33 pm

In an isolated village in the Dominican Republic, an estimated one in 50 children are born appearing to be girls but grow male genitalia during puberty.

The children are known as Guevedoces, roughly translating as “penis-at-12”, referring to the age where their appearance often starts to change.

A BBC documentary called Countdown to Life: The Extraordinary Making of You explores the rare condition as part of a series on development.

Johnny, once known as Felicita, told the programme he fought bullies who targeted him when the change started.

"They used to say I was a devil, nasty things, bad words and I had no choice but to fight them because they were crossing the line,” he said.

"I'd like to get married and have children, a partner who will stand by me through good and bad.”

The documentary also features seven-year-old Carla, who will soon become known as Carlos.

The child’s mother said she could see the transformation starting from the age of five, adding: “I love her however she is. Girl or boy, it makes no difference."

Dr Julianne Imperato- McGinley, an endocrinologist at Cornell University in the US, investigated the phenomenon in the early 1970s.

According to the Urological Sciences Research Foundation the Guevedoces were also known locally as “Machihembras” - first women, then man.

She found that pseudohermaphrodites appeared to be girls at birth but developed muscles, testes and a penis during puberty as a result of an enzyme deficiency with 5-alpha Reductase.


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