How does the "technical" way of reproduction influence gender relations between men and women?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

With the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre as the breeding arena for the people of the New World, the roles of men and women have been greatly altered.  For, two billion people in the New World constitute a eusocial consumer society; that is, they are artificially reproduced and conditioned into various castes.  Both men and women are equal in the World State, although another "pseudo-sex" has been engineered:  the freemartins,  a hermaphroditic group of humans, appearing to be females, but they are sterile and manifest the traits of both the female and male sexes (they grow facial hair).  This group can engage in the leisure of sexual relations without fear of reproduction.  On the other hand, the regular females wear a Malthusian Belt that is loaded with contraceptives.  After so many months, these women must have a pregnancy substitute therapy when they begin to feel slightly odd or depressed.

With so much conditioning conducted on the inhabitants of the New World, there is a dehumanizing effect.  No longer natural mothers--natural birth is abhorrent--the women differ little from the men in their lifestyles.  While they are yet sex objects to the more intelligent men such as Henry Foster and Bernard Marx, who find Lenina Crowe "awfully pneumatic," women have multiple partners since "everyone belongs to everyone else."  Thus, sexual relationships are merely recreational and do not involve any individuality of differentiation between genders.  In fact, children are conditioned to engage in sexual promiscuity since by mitigating its meaning, the New World society eliminates emotional conflicts.

Certainly, the manufacture and conditioning of the inhabitants of Brave New World are assaults upon individuality.  Therefore, while sexual promiscuity is allowed--even encouraged--with pregnancy no longer a fear for women, they are not free because they have been dehumanized and are incapable of experiencing true emotions and natural feelings.


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Brave New World

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