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The extraordinary case of the Guevedoces

bbc.com

MICHAEL MOSLEY

The discovery of a small community in the Dominican Republic, where some males are born looking like girls and only grow penises at puberty, has led to the development of a blockbuster drug that has helped millions of people

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Biological Processes Are Never Universal

The process of sex differentiation ensures that human fetuses are born with distinct external & internal genitalia (which is used to assign their sex at birth).

However, in a small town in the Dominican Republic, a community known as the "

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So why does it happen?

In the 1970s, Dr Julianne Imperato-McGinley, discovered that they have a genetic condition that causes a deficiency in an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydro-testosterone.

Thus, male external & inte...

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How Did The Guevedocs Helped Develop A Drug That Helps Millions?

Another thing that Imperato-McGinley discovered was that the Guevedoces tend to have small prostates.

This observation led to the development of the best-selling drug, finasterid...

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What Do These Findings Imply On Human Sexuality?

A final interesting observation that Imperato-McGinley made was that these boys, despite being brought up as girls, almost all showed strong heterosexual preferences. She concluded

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