It’s not unusual for children who are born as one sex to begin puberty and then transition into the opposite sex. This medical condition, in which children change from one sex to another after puberty, is guevedoce . This can occur at any age, but most often happens during adolescence between the ages of 9 and 12. It’s estimated that about 50 percent of guevedoce patients undergo surgery to alter their genitalia to match theirs prefer gender identity.
What is guevedoces?
Guevedoces are a small population of people in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. They were born with both male and female genitalia (and both testicles and ovaries). Usually, they are identified as boys at birth due to their external appearance. But around ages 7 to 10, they go through a second puberty in which their body changes into that of a woman’s.
Their voices deepen and their facial hair disappears. This is when most guevedoces realize something isn’t quite right. They start feeling uncomfortable in public bathrooms, where it’s not appropriate for women to have male genitals. They may feel depressed or ashamed about having what society considers inappropriate sexual organs.
The extraordinory case of guevedoce
Guevedoces are people who were born with both male and female genitals. The word is a combination of guevo (Spanish for egg) and -doccio, an Italian suffix that refers to something small; thus, it literally translates to egg yolk.
Guevedoces usually appear male at birth but develop into fully functional women at puberty. Guevedoces are rare. No one knows how many exist. But doctors know about them because they regularly come up in research on intersex conditions. People with guevodocia have XY chromosomes like typical males and can even father children; what’s more, they generally identify as female rather than male.
Why do children become guevedoces?
Androgens, specifically testosterone, encourage male characteristics like muscle growth and body hair. They also cause a surge in an enzyme called aromatase that turns testosterone into estrogen. It stops bone growth and leads to breast development.
Since adult males don’t have high levels of aromatase, they aren’t affected by it. Adult females are, however: The conversion of testosterone to estrogen refer as feminization. In guevedoces with 5-alpha reductase deficiency, there isn’t enough of an enzyme needed to convert testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It binds tightly to receptors in the skin and genital tissue responsible for male sexual characteristics.
Is it possible to prevent becoming a guevedoces?
Yes, you can prevent becoming a guevedoces and there are medical methods for doing so. As soon as you realize that your child is suffering from guevedoces you should take them to an endocrinologist. Because there are special hormones that your child can take in order to make sure that their body does not develop certain characteristics of a female body.
You should avoid telling your child about any of these problems until they are over ten years old. Because it will be more traumatic for them if they know before then. It’s also important that your child sees an endocrinologist before their gender identity becomes solidified by their peers and family members. It’s better if they start taking hormones once they’re out of school at age 15 or 16 instead of 11 or 12.
What are the main problems caused by being a guevedoces?
While some guevedoces are fine, they can have problems due to hormones. These hormones are like a switch that makes your body go through changes. Once it’s turned on, you can’t stop it even if you wanted to. Guevedoces are sometimes taller than other boys or girls of their age. Their arms and legs might look long and thin like a woman’s arm or leg. Their hands and feet might be bigger than normal for their age, too. But their shoulders and hips may be wider than normal for both boys and girls of their age. As if they were getting ready to become adult men or women.
Status in society
Children born with intersex conditions have been historically subject to discrimination and forced genital surgeries. Their parents are unable to accept their children’s gender ambiguity. Often chose to commit them to psychiatric institutions where they were subjected to aversion therapy and other procedures meant to fix their perceived problem.
Although such practices are less common now. It’s important for society as a whole to accept people of all gender identities. Especially young children who might still be in the process of discovering themselves. Intersex people are just as much a part of humanity as everyone else. So we should strive not only toward acceptance but also celebrate those whose differences make them stand out from (and above) everyone else.
How many people have guevedoce?
About one in every 4,500 children are born with guevedoce, a condition in which they have some or all of their biological traits as males and some or all of their biological traits as females. That means that these children might be born with external testes and internal female genitalia or external female genitalia and internal male genitalia. In guevedoces, there is no intermediate state between male and female, unlike intersex individuals. These individuals can develop either sperm or eggs within their ovaries, but cannot produce both because there are only two sets of reproductive organs present.
Ways to cope with those problems
Because guedose are such a unique situation, it’s difficult to know how they’ll react. Research shows that they do better when they’re allowed to choose whether or not to have surgery. If your child changes gender identity and no longer identifies as transgender, encourage them to delay any physical changes until they’re older and more able to understand their decision (around 16).
While research on adults who have undergone surgery is limited, most studies show that those who have transitioned report high levels of satisfaction with their treatment—and in many cases claim that life became easier once people started viewing them as members of their target gender.
Case study of guevedoce
Rubén was born a girl but knew he was different from an early age. He would play with his older brother’s toy cars and would have to dress up as a male character for school plays. When he began to develop breasts during puberty, Rubén felt uncomfortable in his own skin and worried about developing female characteristics.
He finally decided that something needed to be done when his period started in seventh grade. With consent from both Rubén and his parents, doctors gave him testosterone injections. It wasn’t until after Rubén began injecting testosterone that he looked like a male again—and other students didn’t tease him anymore because they were confused by his masculine features.
The history of guevedoces begins with a case in an African village, where children are born seemingly male, but gradually grow into women. From New Scientist magazine: When villagers see a boy baby, they say: ‘It’s a girl.’ At first, it was very confusing to me, says Dr. Gonzalez-Mando. Then he heard about guevedoces, or testicles at twelve as they are known in parts of South America, Africa, and Asia. In an estimated one in 5000 births, there is something awry with testosterone production during foetal development—although cases of complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS) appear to be much rarer than that.
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