A late arrival, one might say

A few days back, I wasted some time and space on the delusion held by some men to the effect that they think their junk is about to disappear. But weirder things than this actually happen:

Some children with a rare genetic condition appear female at birth but later develop a penis and testes around the time puberty begins. But what causes this to happen?

An article in BBC Magazine tells the story of some children in the Dominican Republic with this condition, who are known in the country as Guevedoces, which roughly translates to “penis at 12.” One child named Johnny was raised as a girl, but when he matured and neared puberty, he grew a penis and his testicles descended, according to the BBC.

Felicita apparently looked like any other girl until puberty kicked in. Enter Johnny.

Are these, then, trans men? After all, they were identified as female at birth. And I wonder if any of them decided, even after Mr. Johnson arrived, to continue to live as the girls they thought they were.


  1. fillyjonk »

    11 December 2018 · 3:53 pm

    I learned about this 30 years ago in an intro genetics class. What stuck with me were apparently the cultural differences: one group (maybe even the Dominican Republic ones), girls were told that “maybe if you pray to this particular saint, he will make you a boy instead” (the idea being, girls were less-valued). Whereas in another group where the genetic condition was more common than normal but girls were seen as having higher value, the change was met with horror and shock….that in the one group the changeover had just become part of the folklore.

    (It is also possible the professor wasn’t entirely truthful about this, IDK.)

    I don’t know the answer to your question, however. I think that’s above my pay grade.

  2. CGHill »

    11 December 2018 · 4:45 pm

    Stretched out to the max, this is the situation that prevails in Mary Gentle’s SF/fantasy novel Golden Witchbreed, in which children are literally sexless right up until the moment of puberty; only then do they find out their assignment in the gender binary. (And there are some who never get to that point.)

  3. McGehee »

    11 December 2018 · 4:46 pm

    They’d only be trans men if one chooses (ahem) to ignore that all of the changes go one way, without human intervention or a decision by the changee.

    Science would in fact call for DNA checks on girls at birth to determine whether there is a Y chromosome in her genome, so he, if he she be, can be raised as a boy all along.

    Let the outrage ensue.

  4. Lynn »

    11 December 2018 · 5:47 pm

    Golden Witchbreed is one of my all time favorite books for much more than just the weird biology.

  5. hollyh »

    12 December 2018 · 8:18 am

    I’d be interested in whether these “late bloomers” actually FEEL male all along.

    So checking the article, it appears so: ….and I think this is indeed a good thing:
    ‘ Johnny told the BBC that he never felt comfortable doing “girl things.”

    “I never liked to dress as a girl, and when they bought me toys for girls, I never bothered playing with them — when I saw a group of boys, I would stop to play ball with them,” Johnny told the BBC.’

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