There is a village in the Dominican Republic where kids grow penises at puberty.
We talk a lot about strange medical conditions here, but this one might take the cake.
In the village of Salinas, Dominican Republic there is a condition called ‘guevedoces’ which literally translates as ‘penis at 12’. In this village, many boys are born without penises, and raised as girls until they develop penises during puberty. The condition is so commonplace here that it isn’t even looked at as strange.
When fetuses are in the womb, they have internal glands called gonads. At about 8 weeks, the enzyme 5-a-reductase triggers dihydro-testosterone in male fetuses which creates a little baby penis. This condition is a rare genetic disorder which results in the lack of that enzyme. Their penises aren’t activated until puberty, when another surge of testosterone causes the change.
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1 in every 90 children in Salinas is born with this disorder, and it is so common that the boys often keep their girl names.
Say what you will about this phenomenon, but I am loving the fact that there is an entire village somewhere that accepts transgender people as totally normal.
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