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Balls at twelve

Pseudo-Hermaphroditism

In the early 1970’s, a group of children from a village in the Dominican Republic transformed from female to male when they hit puberty. Villagers called these children guevedoche, which translates to “balls at twelve”, which is a fairly accurate description. These children were born female. Then, with the onset of puberty, the labia changed into a scrotum, the clitoris extended into a penis, and the testes descended. 

This rare genetic disorder causes a deficiency of dihydrotestosterone, the chemical used to create the male genitalia. All humans start out female. Then, for males, the chemical dihydrotestosterone creates the male genitals and ensures the vagina and ovaries are lost. But the guevedoche were different. They were unable to produce dihydrotestosterone until the onset of puberty. When this occurred, raising levels of testosterone created excess dihydrotestosterone, which in turn created a set of male genitalia.

There have been cases of this rare genetic disorder all around the world. In the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea it is known as Kwolu-aatmwol, or “female thing transforming into male thing”. In Western countries it is most commonly known as a form of Pseudo-Hermaphroditism, the “third sex”.

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3 comments on “Balls at twelve

  1. Pingback: SUNDAY ODDBITS: What a woman’s walk says about her vaginal orgasmic history and more « OddFix

  2. Pingback: ODDLIST: The best of 2012 « OddFix

  3. Kuro
    November 23, 2015

    That photo…. She/he looks so perfect… Such beauty. Is that photo before 12?

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This entry was posted on September 20, 2012 by in Weird people.

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