This may seem like a fantasy, but in the Dominican there is a community where girls at puberty turn into boys without any surgical interventions.
Even today, in the age of plastic surgery and genetic engineering, this may seem fantastic, but nevertheless, there is a small community in the Dominican Republic where girls turn into boys during puberty without any surgical interventions. In the godforsaken Dominican village of Las Salinas, something incredible happens periodically - girls about 12 turn into boys. Such people here are called "guevedoches" (Guevedoces syndrome), which roughly translates as "penis at twelve."
Journalist Michael Moseley spoke about one of these examples - a young man named Johnny. Like other guevedoces, Johnny was raised as a girl, because at birth he did not have primary male sexual characteristics. But when the girl entered the puberty period, her testicles descended and a penis appeared.
Johnny, who used to be called Felicita, remembers how he went to school in a red dress, although he felt uncomfortable at the same time. According to him, he never liked to dress like a girl, and he was constantly drawn to playing football with the boys. After his body changed, Johnny ran into problems in the school - his classmates started teasing him, calling him the devil and passing various comments.
Another example is the girl Karl, who from the age of seven began to turn into a boy( Carlos). Her mother told that at the age of five Karla was drawn to playing with the boys. At this time, her musculature began to develop actively. Why does this happen and women turn into men? The first who tried to understand this issue was Dr. Julianne Imperato-McGinley of Cornell Medical College in New York. In the 1970s, she spent a lot of time in this remote village in the Dominican Republic, watching with her own eyes how girls turn into boys. The rumors turned out to be true. Julianne had spent many years investigating the guvedoved before she guessed the mystery of what was happening.
It turns out that the sex of the child depends on the set of chromosomes that were in the sperm that fertilized the egg: if there was a set of XX chromosomes, then a girl would be born, and if the XY set of chromosomes, the child is destined to be a man. During the first weeks of life in the womb of the mother, the child does not have sexual characteristics, and in place of future genitals the baby has a structure called a "tubercle". But eight weeks after conception, if the child is dominated by XY chromosomes, testicles are formed, the testosterone of which enters the tubercle, where it turns into a more potent hormone, "dihydrotestosterone." And he, in turn, turns the tubercle into a penis. If the child has two X chromosomes- the future woman and dihydrotestosterone is not allocated, then the tubercle becomes a clitoris.
When McGinley explored the guevedoces, she discovered the reason why they do not have male genitalia at birth. It turned out that they still lacked the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which is responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in the womb. This deficiency, most likely, is of genetic origin, quite common in this part of the Dominican Republic, but extremely rare in another place.
Thus, the boys, despite the presence of the chromosome XY, are born by women. During puberty, like all other boys, they have a second powerful release of testosterone. This time the body reacts, and muscles and genitals are formed. Most guevedoces remain men after this, although some decide to have the operation and remain women.