The artificial womb and the Sexual Revolution

Writing at the Gospel Coalition website, Alastair Roberts analyzed recent news about the development of an artificial womb. While this technology may undermine arguments for abortion, he writes, it also has the potential to reinforce the logic of the Sexual Revolution. An excerpt:

The intense physical bond between mother and infant is one of the most stubborn obstacles to an egalitarian and individualistic society:

  • It represents what is perhaps the most defining difference between the sexes.
  • It is largely responsible for the failure of women to achieve similar economic outcomes to men.
  • It is in profound tension with the logic of autonomous choice and cannot easily be squared with individualism.
  • It privileges the male and female union over same-sex relationships. It supports sexist biological understandings of parenthood—“mother” and “father”—over fluid and gender-neutral models of “parenting.”
  • It grounds womanly identity in the female body in ways that support oppressive myths that bind women to their children and that also marginalize transwomen.

In these and many other ways, pregnancy and the womb represent problems for our society. Technologies enabling us to circumvent or outmode natural pregnancy would, no doubt, be lauded by many as a movement in the direction of equality.


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