Suppose in a world with technical development similar to ours (with nothing else changed), a genetically modified virus infected some of the people, making their children capable of parthenogenesis.
Definition and details
Parthenogenesis refers to the reproductive behavior in some organisms where a single animal can produce offspring that are genetically identical to itself.
In the case of my world, the infected generation are hermaphrodite with fertile male and female reproductive organs. The exact biology doesn't matter right now, but the parthenogenesis have the following attributes:
- Pregnancy must be initiated deliberately by the hermaphrodite parent
- Creates children that are genetically identical to the parent
- No genetic defect, but inherit any genetic disease
First, because the hermaphrodite people were created suddenly and without justification, they will probably be repelled by the rest of society, possibly becoming the subject of infanticide, prosecution or even mass murder.
The above being the case, the stage is set for solidarity among the hermaphrodite. In addition, marriage between hermaphrodite and non-hermaphrodite will probably be uncommon. Conversely, marriage between hermaphrodites would be common, if they in fact find marriage beneficial or necessary.
In the case where a single hermaphrodite has decided to reproduce it (for the sake of convenience) can form an exponentially enlarging family, and I expect strong family bond among its members, since only one parent hold the power of child-raising and can impart its ideology to its children unimpededly. I expect such "homogeneous families" to play important role in the world, with the family governed by the eldest member, controlled by radical ideology and austere reproductive schemes. While to the outside world, I expect an attitude of hostility and distrust.
So that's what I have thought, please tell me if there is some critical element of the setting that is dysfunctional, or if there is something obviously amiss with my speculations. I would also like to hear alternative speculations and other interesting features of the world that would result from hermaphroditism and parthenogenesis.