Women over the age of 40 were to act as sexual "mentors" to adolescent boys, as these relationships had minimal chance of conceiving.
Furthermore, these women became religious role models for the young men.
Communitarians who wished to be parents would go before a committee to be matched based on their spiritual and moral qualities.
In addition, they were able to wear functional, Bloomer-style clothing and maintain short haircuts.
Women were able to participate in practically all types of community work.
They were a major employer in the area, with approximately 200 employees by 1870.
The Oneida community believed strongly in a system of free love (a term Noyes is credited with coining) known as complex marriage, Unlike 20th-century social movements such as the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s, the Oneidans did not seek consequence-free sex for pleasure, but believed that, because the natural outcome of intercourse was pregnancy, raising children should be a communal responsibility.
The community's original 87 members grew to 172 by February 1850, 208 by 1852, and 306 by 1878.
The branches were closed in 1854 except for the Wallingford branch, which operated until devastated by a tornado in 1878.
The Oneida Community dissolved in 1881, and eventually became the giant silverware company Oneida Limited.
Secondary industries included the manufacture of leather travel bags, the weaving of palm frond hats, the construction of rustic garden furniture, game traps, and tourism.
The Oneida Community was a Perfectionist religious communal society founded by John Humphrey Noyes in 1848 in Oneida, New York.
The community believed that Jesus had already returned in AD 70, making it possible for them to bring about Jesus's millennial kingdom themselves, and be free of sin and perfect in this world, not just in Heaven (a belief called Perfectionism).
The experiment yielded 58 children, nine of whom were fathered by Noyes.