Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Jessica Evans

Second Advisor

Jacques Bailly

Third Advisor

Patricia Julien


The way in which one views themselves can sometimes be in contention with how they are viewed externally, and the statue of Sleeping Hermaphroditus represents this duality of identity and perception. There is a modern standard that bodies are binary in terms of gender and sex, man vs woman; male vs female, rather than a spectrum of identity and variation in characteristics. Ancient Greece and Rome offer us examples of intersex bodies in antiquity which would suggest that nonbinary bodies exist in nature and have always been with us. Since the Middle Ages, those who have not fit clearly into the binary gender and sex distinctions have been forced into one category or the other; this has contributed to the erasure of nonbinary and intersex bodies. This is manifested in our society, for example, through the surgical “correction” of intersex bodies to fit as either male or female. In this thesis I will examine the statue of Sleeping Hermaphroditus, a statue depicting an intersex body originating in ancient Greece and later copied in ancient Rome, to reveal that intersex bodies and nonbinary identities have always existed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.