The child, born with six fingers on each hand, was born having both female and male genitals In the Russian settlement of Barashevo lives an 11-year-old girl named Zhenya, but the looks of the child suggest that Zhenya is a boy. Zhenya has six fingers on every hand; she is an androgyne and has both female and male genitals. Neighbors say that the malformation occurred because Zhenya's mother was an alcoholic and never stopped drinking vodka during the whole period of her pregnancy. The child has six fingers on every hand because, as neighbors rumor, a village witch damned the whole of Zhenya's family.
It was just on the very eve of the childbirth that Zhenya's mother gave up hard drinking. She would not go to a maternity hospital and delivered the baby at home. A friend of hers who assisted in baby delivery was shocked to see that the baby had both female and male genitals. The woman thought for a while and decided that the baby would be a girl because she already had sons. But the girl always prefers to associate with men and enjoys male passions. Zhenya took to smoking at the age of five. It was the child's mother that gave Zhenya some vodka to drink for the first time. The woman believed that it would be better for her ugly child to drink alcohol and become conscious.
Last spring, Zhenya's mother died of alcoholic intoxication. The local authorities are currently collecting documents necessary to send the child to a boarding school.
People in the settlement often treat Zhenya as a toy. Tipsy men like to beckon Zhenya to come and watch how the child takes a glass of vodka with a six-fingered hand and drinks it in a gulp.
Zhenya feels happy when people give her to drink vodka and sometimes feed. At that, her health is too bad for an 11-year-old child: Zhenya has already had tuberculosis and has got used to slight ailments. To earn money, Zhenya weeds kitchen gardens for old people. Recently, the child has invented a new method for making money. Zhenya stops autos on a highway and offers to show her abnormal set of genitals for money.
The diagnosis stated in Zhenya's medical history is false male androgyny, as the child has both a vagina and a penis. Doctors say that in the puberty period Zhenya will have to undergo an operation to part with some of the genitals. Zhenya strongly objects to doctors' prognosis and says she will not let cut any of the genitals. She would rather like her sixth fingers cut off.
Sexopathologist Boris Peskov is sure that the pathology of the child is highly likely connected with the mother's hard drinking. Alcohol broke the interrelation between hormones produced by the adrenal cortex, sex glands, hypophysis of the mother and the foetus which in its turn caused the mutations.
Children endocrinologist of the republic of Mordovia Larissa Mukhina says that children having such anomalies as Zhenya has may undergo free operations in Moscow. These operations are a success as a rule. She adds it would be better for Zhenya to prefer being a woman than a man. Being a woman, Zhenya will be able to have sex contacts but unfortunately will never conceive. But being a man Zhenya may never be potent. But the change of sex may have a negative effect upon Zhenya's psyche as the child considers himself being a boy.
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