Could puberty get any more awkward? Turns out, yes. Patrick Burleigh started going through puberty as a toddler. He had pubic hair before he was two years old and a mustache by middle school. All of this was thanks to a rare genetic mutation that causes testotoxicosis, also known as precocious puberty. From the moment he was born, abnormally high levels of testosterone coursed through his body, just as it had in his father’s body, his grandfather’s body, and his great-grandfather’s body. On this week’s episode, Patrick’s premature coming of age story helps us understand just why puberty is so awkward for all of us, and whether and how it helps forge us into the adults we all become.
Special thanks to Craig Cox, Nick Burleigh, and Alyssa Voss at the NIH.
Reported by - Latif Nasserwith help from - Kelsey Padgett, Ekedi Fausther-Keeys, and Alyssa Jeong-PerryProduced by - Pat Walters, Alex Neason, and Alyssa Jeong-Perrywith help from - Ekedi Fausther-Keyeswith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Diane A. Kellyand Edited by - Pat Walters
To read Patrick’s own writing about his experience with precocious puberty and to see photos of him as a child, check out his article in The Cut, “A 4-Year-Old Trapped in a Teenager’s Body” (https://zpr.io/athKVQmtfzaN)
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