Zee Media Bureau
London: This one is a bizarre piece of news! Apparently, because of a rare genetic disorder, children who live in a village in the southwestern Dominican Republic are born female and become male at puberty i.e these boys grow a penis only when they hit puberty.
The story of these children who live in Salinas, an isolated village in the southwestern Dominican Republic, features in a new BBC science series "Countdown to Life - the extraordinary making of you".
According to a report, one in 90 children in Salinas face this rare genetic disorder. In their village, these children are simply referred to as the 'guevedoces’ - which literally translates as ‘penis at 12’.
The disorder occurs because of a missing enzyme which prevents the production of a specific form of the male sex hormone - dihydro-testosterone - in the womb, the report said.
Because of this missing enzyme they appear to be born female with no testes and what appears to be a vagina.
The male reproductive organs emerge during puberty at around 12 years of age due to a huge surge in testosterone.
So what should have happened in the womb happens around 12 years later.Their voices deepen and they finally grow a penis.
(With Agency inputs)