The floor-length black gown and pearls that Rossellini arrives in are soon shed to reveal other costumes, an apt demonstration of the theme of multi-morphism.

If male, it will be more vigorously handled and any loud sounds or thrashing of limbs will be cheered as signs of masculine vigor.

Later whether the child will be given a doll or a toy truck, will be cuddled and fussed over after an injury or told to shake it off, or whether the child will be scolded or praised for boistrous, risky behavior -- all these, even today, will still hinge largely on gender.

By the time this same individual reaches the choices and options of adult life, personality (shaped by gender influenced interactions), has already been molded into distinctly male or female modalities.

Meanwhile these differing reactions are only a small part of a whole system of social relationships which are underpinned by issues of gender -- or more specifically, on the idea that men and women do and should look differently, act differently, and contribute differently to society.

There is a light attempt to dramatize, or at least theatricalize, the material, with no less than Jean-Claude Carrière sharing the writing credit with Rossellini.

(The production is staged by Muriel Mayette-Holtz.) There are many, often phallic, props.Nevertheless, in the case of hermaphroditism, the identity of the individual is still intended by God to be one or the other.After all, God would not make someone in contradiction to His created order and purpose.Unfortunately, some medical personnel still use them to refer to people with certain intersex conditions, because they still subscribe to an outdated nomenclature that uses gonadal anatomy as the basis of sex classification.In a paper titled Changing the Nomenclature/Taxonomy for Intersex: A Scientific and Clinical Rationale, five -associated experts recommend that all terms based on the root “hermaphrodite” be abandoned because they are scientifically specious and clinically problematic.Although gender roles are probably more relaxed now than at any time in Western history, issues of living up to cultural gender stereotypes still cause insecurity, repression, and even deadly acts of violence.