Date of Award

Winter 1-28-1977

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Francis P. Conant

Second Advisor

Wendy McKenna


This study introduces factors in the post-pubertal change of gender role in a group of male pseudohermaphrodites in the Dominican Republic. The individuals grow up as girls because of ambiguous genitalia at birth. Upon the onset of puberty, with development of scrotum and phallus, they generally select adult male models to emulate as their future role behavior. The essay describes the socio-cultural setting in which the children are raised and proposes a theory that differential socialization of boys and girls and adult access to resources are contributing elements in the decisions to switch gender roles. At the time of the 1975 study, the prevailing thought was that gender role/identity was acquired and fixed at an early age.



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