What happens when a Houyhnhnms couple has two children of the same sex?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Houyhnhnms are the one race that Gulliver wishes he could stay with indefinitely.  Their civil and rational approach to law and life is extremely appealing to the man.  One example of their extremely rational-minded natures is their approach to child rearing.   The Houyhnhnms arrange their marriages in order to breed children with the best possible attributes.  Houyhnhnm couples are allowed to have two children (foals) each, one boy and one girl foal.  If for some reason a couple were to have two girls, they would simply trade one of the girls to another couple that had two boys.