The modest village of Salinas, located in the southwestern portion of the Dominican Republic, appears like any small Caribbean community. But in spite of it's diminutive population, the seemingly inconsequential town in the Barahona Province has long captured the fascination of the medical world for one remarkable reason: 1 in 90 children born in Salinas, make a natural transition from female to male during puberty. In short, they suddenly grow penises at age 12. Yes, seriously.
Referred to as Guevedoces, (literally translating to "penis at age 12"), the plight of these boys was documented in a recent BBC series, Countdown to Life - the Extraordinary Making of You.
Michael Mosley, the filmmaker who captured the phenomenon, wrote on BBC's website about his encounters with Johnny, a young guevedoces who recently went through the transition himself: "Like the other Guevedoces, Johnny was brought up as a girl because he had no visible testes or penis and what appeared to be a vagina. It is only when he approached puberty that his penis grew and testicles descended," he writes.