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17 October 2011

Giuseppe Marzo (? – 1865) servant.

Giuseppina had been considered female at birth, but from age 4 Giuseppe had been raised and treated as a male.

He joined the feudal household where his father worked. He proposed marriage to one of the maids, but she ran away when he had to produce his birth certificate.

When he died, a post mortem was done by Professor Luigi de Crecchio, professor of forensic medicine at the University of Naples, who reported that the body was ‘decidedly male in all respects’, with a heavy beard and a masculine distribution of pubic hair, hairy legs and a small penis, but also hypospadias. Internally he had a normal vagina, uterus, tubes and ovaries.

Giuseppe had lived exclusively as a male, and had even contracted syphilis twice. He had died after a series of vomiting and diarrhoea.

This is earliest known description of probable Adrenal Hyperplasia.
  • Luigi de Crecchio. “Sopra un caso di apparenzi virili in una donna”. Morgagni, 7:154-188, 1865.
  • Alfred Bongiovanni & Allen W. Root. (1963). The adrenogenital syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine, 1963: 268:1283-1289;1342-1351; 1391-1399.
  • Maria I. New. “Ancient History of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia”. in L. Ghizzoni, M. Cappa, G. Chrousos, S. Loche, M. Maghnie (eds): Pediatric Adrenal Diseases. Endocr Dev. Basel, Karger, 2011, vol 20, pp 202.
  • “Congenital adrenal hyperplasia”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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