Sally Odgers sodgers at
Thu May 4 23:09:37 EDT 2000

>Nothing wrong with 'identical' boy-girl twins. *Shakespeare* used
>identical boy-girl twins.
>(Anyway, are they actually impossible, or just horrendously unlikely?)

Shakespeare, (she said darkly) did a *lot* of things.

I think they are *almost impossible. Identical twins come from the splitting
of a group of cells that began as one potential child and develop into 2 (or
more or less). hat's why they're invariably the same sex. Fraternal twins
can be boy/boy  girl/girl or boy/girl. They're the result of two separate
conceptions that happened at the same time. They're no more alike (except in
size) than any two siblings.

* I said "almost impossible" because unrelated or slightly related doubles
do occur sometimes, just by a fluke. I suppose it might happen with twins.
And, as I'm certain everyone here knows, Shakespeare had an ulterior motive
for his disguised heroines. As G. Trease pointed out, it's easier for a boy
actor to pretend to be a girl pretending to be a boy than to pretend to be a
girl pretending to be a girl.

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