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It’s a concept that seems as if it were right out of science fiction but for a small community in the Dominican Republic it’s common for girls to hit puberty and quite literally transform into boys.The new BBC Two series “Countdown to Life” looks at the fascinating phenomenon of children in this community who are born girls and then spontaneously develop penises once they’ve entered puberty.A true hermaphrodite is someone born with both ovarian and testicular tissues.

When the penis appears, it’s just the last piece of the puzzle.

Many plants and animals, particularly invertebrates, possess hermaphroditic characteristics and they have the ability to act as a male or a female.

The term “hermaphrodite” is applied to human beings who possess both male and female genitalia, however, this biological condition is very rare among humans.

In small communities in the Dominican Republic, this sometimes won't happen until a child reaches puberty when some girls quite literally transform into boys. The hormonal, physical and emotional changes a child undergoes in that time can be overwhelming.

But imagine puberty came with a sudden gender transformation.