Ray is a very rare example of the condition known as bi-lateral
hermaphrodism, which means that she has both a male and female
sex gland in each side of her body.
The strange result
of this unusual condition has been to develop the entire right
side of her body, structure, muscles, shape of the pelvis, their
texture and placement, (even to growth of a beard), as a well
proportioned male, while the left side of her body is
the right breast is
flat and masculine in type, while the left breast is well
developed female in character. The curves of the left side
of her body; a gracefully outlined feminine pelvis, curving
waistline and hip; a much smaller, more shapely feminine leg and
foot are startling in contrast to the much heavier, larger and
masculine structure of the right leg which is covered with
coarse hair of entirely different character than the light
growth of down which might be found upon the leg of any normal
If the reader will
cover one half of the close-up portrait of Roberta Ray's face as
shown on cover the disproportion of the two sides of the face
will be immediately discernible.
The difference in
the two sides of Roberta Ray's body is plainly shown in Figure
5. Note the heavily muscled right arm, the masculine line
of this side of the body, the larger, heavier leg and heavy coat
of hair on the right limb. The female breast, body
contours and smaller, more feminine arm and leg, and also the
curve of hip and thigh are evident in the photograph.
Roberta Ray is a
rare example of "neutral sex" such as Professor Falta, of Vienna
describes in his famous work on Endocrine Diseases.
in this case, since
both male and female sex glands existed in the same body, the
internal secretion from the male sex glands caused the
development of the male secondary sex characteristics, while the
secretion from the female glands developed the female
Roberta is six feet
tall, thirty-seven years of age, and has a pleasing voice of
deep contralto quality which might belong to an immature boy of
to a woman.
reprinted from the
Specialist investigates your glands.
Plate No. 1
Roberta Ray was
born of a normal father and mother, on November 8th, 1894,
in Budapest, Austria,
Her mother was a
trapeze performer and her child was born, prematurely at
seven months gestation, thirty minutes after the mother had
given a performance on the trapeze before the public.
examined the child and pronounced it a true bilateral
family history is very interesting, in that it clearly shows
that an abnormal condition of the adrenal cortex gland
existed and was transmitted through many generations.
There was no
abnormalities in the father's heredity; but
three generations back, in direst line, her mother had a
relative who was born a mail, (at least she was pronounced
male by physicians at birth), and remained a boy until the
time of puberty. At puberty, this supposed boy changed
into a female. The contours and, formerly, definitely
defined male organs changed into the appearance of female
organs and body structure. She menstruated normally
for a period of about thirty years, or thereabout, - and
during that time she functioned apparently normally as a
woman. At the time of menopause, her bodily
conformation again changed into that of a man, and the rest
of her life was spent as a male.
mother was one of a family of three girls. Her oldest
sister was a "bearded lady" and was exhibited as a rarely
perfect example of this type. She had a very heavy
beard and was very masculine in type' but her organs were
female and she functioned as a woman. Mrs. Ray was the
second daughter of the family and displayed no abnormality,
insofar as is know' but her younger sister is decidedly
masculine in type. She dresses in a masculine fashion,
has a heavy hair growth on the face which she has to
regularly shave, is very intelligent and said to be a
successful and capable business woman.
Roberta was the
first child born to her mother. A second child a boy
was born when Roberta was about twelve years of age.
This child lived to be about eight years of age and was
abnormal. This child lived to be about eight years of
age and was abnormal. He was what is called in show
parlance, "a frog boy." The upper half of his body was
normal but the lower half never developed and his legs were
limp and seemed joint less, the bones soft and limber.
Here we see the effect of the too early puberty caused by
adrenal cortex enlargement and the effect which this
has upon the thymus gland. When adult development is
completed normally the thymus gland, having completed its
work of supplying the proper materials for normal bone
development, ceases its activities. In this case, the
adrenal cortex caused a premature puberty before the bony
structure was properly developed, and in causing the thymus
gland to cease its activities too soon, the bones of the
lower half of the body were never normally hardened and the
joints did not properly form their normal approximations.
The history of
this family is an excellent proof of the part which the
glands of internal secretion play in heredity. In
Plate No. 1 Roberta Ray is seen in male attire.
ROBERTA RAY is under the
personal direction of and sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Metz
Permanent Address Chutes
Beach, San Francisco, California
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