Mysterious condition causes girls to grow penises when they turn 12

The condition is caused due to a halt in production of a male hormone in the womb which causes the child to appear female at birth.

Several children are born with rare genetic disorders but while they do have shocking effects on people, some can really baffle people. A disorder that can change the gender of a person sounds unimaginable, but is a reality in a lesser known part of the world.

The mysterious village of Las Salinas in the Dominican Republic is suddenly in the news because of a genetic condition which causes girls to grow a penis and become boys when they hit puberty. The occurrence although unheard of is not so rare in the village as 90 children so far have been born with the mind boggling condition.

The natural transformation from female to male at is referred to as guevedoces, which means ‘penis at 12’. One of the youngsters affected by the condition told BBC that he was brought up as a girl but never really liked wearing clothes for girls and just wanted to play with boys.

The condition is caused by a missing enzyme that leads to the production of a male sex hormone in the womb. This is why the child appears to be a girl at the time of birth.

As testosterone levels start surging upon reaching puberty, they transform and grow a penis when they are 12. Guevedoces was first studied in the 1970s by Dr Julianne Imperato when she visited the village.

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