(NEWSER) – Girls born in a particular village in the Dominican Republic may not grow up as biological females after all. A little more than 1% of them will develop a penis at age 12, making them what locals call "guevedoces"—literally, a "penis at 12," the Telegraph reports.
"I remember I used to wear a little red dress," says 24-year-old Johnny, one of about 6,000 villagers in the isolated town of Salinas. "They didn’t know what sex I was. I went to school and I used to wear my skirt ... When they bought me girls toys I never bothered playing with them. All I wanted to do was play with the boys." Turned out that Johnny suffered from an unusual genetic disorder caused by a missing enzyme, called 5-α-reductase, which stops a powerful male sex hormone from surging into wombs that carry the male Y chromosome.