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Growing a penis at 12: the 'Guevedoce' boys of the Dominican Republic

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posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 03:10 PM
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Growing a Penis at 12: the 'Guevedoce' Boys of the Dominican Republic

Wow, right?

“Guevedoce” literally means "penis at 12," and refers to children who would seem to be a girl for all intents and appearances, but who begin to develop into a male at puberty, including growing a penis.


Guevedoces are also sometimes called “machihembras” meaning “first a woman, then a man”. When they’re born they look like girls with no testes and what appears to be a vagina. It is only when they near puberty that the penis grows and testicles descend.


I think most of us are taught and grow up believing that gender is pretty simple: if you have male parts, you're a male... if you have female parts, you're a female.... but it's really not that simple.


At conception we all inherit a set of genes from our parents that will, in time instruct our bodies to make us male or female. But for the first few weeks of our lives human embryos are neither. Instead we have a protrusion called a tubercle. If you’re genetically male the Y chromosome instructs the gonads to become testicles. They also send testosterone to the tubercle, where it is converted into a potent hormone called dihydro-testosterone. This transforms the tubercle into a penis. If you’re female and don’t make dihydro-testosterone then your tubercle becomes a clitoris.

When Dr Imperato investigated the Guavadoces she discovered the reason they don’t have male genitalia at birth is because they are deficient in an enzyme called 5-α-reductase, which normally converts testosterone into dihydro-testosterone. So they appear female when they are born, but around puberty, when they get another surge of testosterone, they sprout muscles, testes and a penis.


This is all news to me, but apparently not to the world of science:


The story of the guevedoces was originally presented at a Federation meeting in Atlantic City, NJ in 1973 and published in Science in 1974 (Imperato-McGinley J, Guerrero L, Gautier T, Peterson RE. Steroid 5alpha-reductase deficiency in man: an inherited form of male pseudohermaphroditism. Science 1974 Dec 27; 186 (4170): 1213-5).


Source

But Big Pharma giant Merck sure heard about it... ever seen those Propecia commercials?


By a quirk of chance Dr Imperato’s research was picked up by the American pharmaceutical giant, Merck. They used her discovery to create a drug called finasteride, which blocks the action of 5-α-reductase. IT is now widely used to treat benign enlargement of the prostate and male pattern baldness.


Yes, that is quite the "quirk."

I still haven't totally wrapped my mind around this. I still can't believe this is the first I've heard of this! A search of ATS for "Guevedoces" brought up this thread, another similar unusual case; the link is broken, but I tracked down the story from info in the thread comments:

Woman grows penis

A little more reading on the Guevedoces:

The 'Guevedoces' of the Dominican Republic

BBC: The extraordinary case of the Guevedoces

Wikipedia: Finasteride




posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 03:43 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 03:53 PM
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they are deficient in an enzyme called 5-α-reductase, which normally converts testosterone into dihydro-testosterone.


I wonder what has caused this enzyme deficiency in this particular population causing this gender abnormality? Something "in the water"? A thorough investigation might lead to other answers and solutions to other gender issues.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 04:12 PM
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originally posted by: queenofswords


they are deficient in an enzyme called 5-α-reductase, which normally converts testosterone into dihydro-testosterone.


I wonder what has caused this enzyme deficiency in this particular population causing this gender abnormality? Something "in the water"? A thorough investigation might lead to other answers and solutions to other gender issues.


I had the same thoughts. I could not find anything definitive, though it happens (or fails to happen) during gestation, I couldn't find anything to say if it was a deficiency in the mother, or another cause.

Wikipedia doesn't have much:


The second isoenzyme of 5-α reductase is deficient in the classic intersex condition (pseudovaginal perineoscrotal hypospadias), or 5α-reductase deficiency. It was first discovered in indigenous cultures of Papua, New Guinea, where children were born with feminine genitalia in the absence of endogenous DHT during pregnancy, but with the surge of testosterone during adolescence, changed to males at puberty. Because of this change at puberty, the condition is also sometimes called "guevedoche." There is a range of external appearance that has been described of external genitalia at birth, with varying degrees of virilization.


So it's not just the Dominican Republic.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 04:19 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea
Wow...Learn something new everyday. i'm also curious about the a reductase enzyme deficiency.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 04:32 PM
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Do they know how long this has been going on? Or what causes the enzyme deficiency? Apologies,,but I cannot be botheted to look through the many links. Is it possible this is due to some kind of Mengele-ian type of experimentation, such as that which crated the "village of twins" in Brazil or was it Argentina...?



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 05:05 PM
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originally posted by: 3n19m470
Do they know how long this has been going on? Or what causes the enzyme deficiency? Apologies,,but I cannot be botheted to look through the many links. Is it possible this is due to some kind of Mengele-ian type of experimentation, such as that which crated the "village of twins" in Brazil or was it Argentina...?


Good question...

It was first investigated in the Domican Republic, during the early '70s, and at that time about 2% of births were so affected, today about 1%. Wikipedia cited villiages of the Sambian tribes in Papua, New Guinea also, where they are called turnims. I don't know of any connection between the two. Apparently the two peoples view the phenomenom very differently, at least according to this 2005 article from Berkeley.


The Sambians view these children as flawed males; the children are rejected and humiliated by their families and society. On the other hand, in the Dominican Republic, the birth of a psueodhermaphrodite is fully accepted and during puberty, the child’s physical transformation into a male is marked by joyous celebration.


It's quite possible that other cultures have a higher rate too, but it isn't talked about openly if they view it negatively.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 05:28 PM
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Wow. I learned something new today. Very interesting.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 05:45 PM
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First I've heard of this.
Do you pass out "It's a Guevedoce!" cigars?



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: queenofswords

I wonder if this might also have something to do with fertility issues? In theory at least, if the enzyme is deficient during gestation, or if it is somehow blocked during gestation, couldn't that also carry over to puberty in some cases? If so, I would think it could have a negative effect on the woman's ability to produce eggs, or ????



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 05:50 PM
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originally posted by: skunkape23

First I've heard of this.
Do you pass out "It's a Guevedoce!" cigars?


That's funny


Especially because I had just read my excerpt above and saw that "in the Dominican Republic, the birth of a psueodhermaphrodite is fully accepted..."

So do they know when the child is born? I only read that it was a surprise -- and happened pretty darn quick!



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 05:52 PM
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woah thats bizarre! thanks for learnin' me.




posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 05:58 PM
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originally posted by: lostbook
Wow. I learned something new today. Very interesting.


No kidding!
Guevedoces, machihembras?
Pseudohermaphroditism, finasteride?
Tubercle?

Dr. Imperato ?



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: 3n19m470

This article you mean:




The steely hearted "Angel of Death", whose mission was to create a master race fit for the Third Reich, was the resident medic at Auschwitz from May 1943 until his flight in the face of the Red Army advance in January 1945.

His task was to carry out experiments to discover by what method of genetic quirk twins were produced – and then to artificially increase the Aryan birthrate for his master, Adolf Hitler.
Now, a historian claims, Mengele's notorious experiments may have borne fruit.

For years scientists have failed to discover why as many as one in five pregnancies in a small Brazilian town have resulted in twins – most of them blond haired and blue eyed.

But residents of Candido Godoi now claim that Mengele made repeated visits there in the early 1960s, posing at first as a vet but then offering medical treatment to the women of the town.


www.telegraph.co.uk...

As for the boys possibly a product of Nazi experimentation, its possible since many Nazis fled to Latin America after the fall of the Third Reich.

Which in turn reminds me of the movie Boys in Brazil.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 06:06 PM
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First off I'll click on any thread with the word penis in the title.

Secondly, after reading the question that comes to mind is, "do they get just as big?"

And by big I mean that subjectively.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 06:09 PM
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a reply to: starwarsisreal

Thank you for posting that!

I did not know about the twins... When I read 3n19m470's comment, I had thought of The Boys in Brazil movie too but I could not remember the name of it. Doh...


edit on 20-9-2015 by Boadicea because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 06:12 PM
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a reply to: onequestion

It functions normally in all ways, though it does run slightly smaller in physical dimensions.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 08:12 PM
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I just had to know weather this was a local thing or what so I did a little digging....
and found this:




Research has shown this genetic disorder to be of autosomal recessive inheritance. Due to the decreased size of the gene pool in these communities as well as their isolation from other populations, this condition persists for generations.
During the 1970s, guevedoces births were reported to account for as many as two percent of all births in these small villages of the Dominican Republic. Since then, doctors in villages in both the Dominican Republic and Papua New Guinea have become experts in distinguishing normal female external genitalia from the ambiguous genitalia of guevedoces babies. Due to the prevalence of these births, both cultures believe in three sexual categories: the male, the female, and the pseudohermaphrodite.

www.ocf.berkeley.edu...


I was wondering if it was some type of pollutant or something, but I guess not...just too small of a genepool I guess.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 08:57 PM
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originally posted by: dawnstar
I just had to know weather this was a local thing or what so I did a little digging....
and found this:




Research has shown this genetic disorder to be of autosomal recessive inheritance. Due to the decreased size of the gene pool in these communities as well as their isolation from other populations, this condition persists for generations.
During the 1970s, guevedoces births were reported to account for as many as two percent of all births in these small villages of the Dominican Republic. Since then, doctors in villages in both the Dominican Republic and Papua New Guinea have become experts in distinguishing normal female external genitalia from the ambiguous genitalia of guevedoces babies. Due to the prevalence of these births, both cultures believe in three sexual categories: the male, the female, and the pseudohermaphrodite.

www.ocf.berkeley.edu...


I was wondering if it was some type of pollutant or something, but I guess not...just too small of a genepool I guess.


Thank you! I have to confess that I had no idea what "autosomal" is so I had to look it up:


Autosomal
Relating to any chromosome besides the X and Y sex chromosomes. Human cells contain 22 pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes.


And if it's recessive, than it would have to be passed on by both parents. So definitely a shrinking gene pool.



posted on Sep, 21 2015 @ 10:08 AM
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I remember this in a Documentary, maybe Nova or Horizon a few years back, they treated it like cases of Hermaphrodites at birth and then later they developed as male....



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