Monogamy, explained

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  • Published on:  Wednesday, May 23, 2018
  • Here it is! Episode 1 of our new show on Netflix: Explained. There's two more at right now & new episodes every Wednesday.

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    In 2016, more than 2.2 million couples got married in America, but more than 800,000 got divorced. Cheating and breakups cause grief and heartache every day. Yet some historians and evolutionary biologists say monogamy is a relatively new, self-imposed system. Their evidence suggests humans lived without it for more than 250,000 years. And we only started marrying for love in the 1700s.

    So if monogamy is so hard, why do most of us, all around the world, make it a central goal of our lives?

    Vox tackled this question in the first episode of our new show with Netflix, Explained, which premieres today! We’ll have new episodes every Wednesday, on topics ranging from monogamy to gene editing to the racial wealth gap to K-pop and more. If you like our videos, then you’ll love this show; it’s our most ambitious video project to date.

    To watch, search “Explained” on Netflix or go to Click the “My List” button to make sure you don’t miss an episode!

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  • Vox  (May 23, 2018)

    Here's Episode 1 of our new show on Netflix, called "Explained." Episodes 2 & 3 are at right now, and we're releasing new episodes every Wednesday.Thanks for watching and supporting us over the years, we love making videos for all of you!

  • Gülhan Yanar  (Dec 18, 2018)

    I am not able to see the rest on Netflix... I am living in Germany

  • Polygamy is for uneducated humans, who are no different to animals.Our instincts aren't our moral guidelines

  • Nudge  (May 23, 2018)

    Why am I watching this when I am single?

  • Vishal Shinde  (Nov 15, 2018)

    Me too I'm single af 😂😂 😹

  • Koal Kottentail  (Oct 30, 2018)

    Education lol

  • Kyle Li  (Jun 28, 2018)

    𝕚𝕞 𝕒 𝕗𝕒𝕟𝕔𝕪 𝕗𝕠𝕟𝕥

  • pulakification  (6 hours ago)

    I am fanciest.

  • Jesus it's fun!

  • Stock Video Central  (May 24, 2018)

    This is polygamy explained, not monogamy explained. They barely scratched the surface of why monogamy exists and went directly into promoting polygamy and promiscuity.

  • David Li  (Jan 20, 2019)

    Vox never cares to hide their political bias.

  • Pez  (Jan 10, 2019)

    Polygamy leads inevitably to polygynic hypergamy, which results in social polarization, passivity/feminization or, alternatively, violence amongst unsuccesful men and opens the door for authoritarian tendencies from powerful men. Women are always shielded from the negative consequences of human reproduction strategies because these are always, even if patriarcal, gynocentric.

  • Zuga  (Jun 10, 2018)

    I think the primary purpose of monogamy is to avoid bastards getting born all over the place.

  • Carlitox b  (Feb 9, 2019)

    well, it's not working

  • Seif Maamoun  (Jul 11, 2018)

    I do not think the poly model is the ideal one but mate your argument could have been used back in the 19th century not here and now

  • Zeight Gesicht  (May 24, 2018)

    The problem with this video is that you can see the conclusion the creators set out to find, and designed the video to fit that conclusion. Instead of 'explaining' the subject of the video fairly, they take a political stance on the subject. In this case leftisim states that monagamy is a western patriarcal structure that oppresses people and therefore it is bad and must be abolished. Its kinda sad that prior to even watching the video, one can know vox's political stance and then make a pretty accurat...

  • mikedfelix  (3 days ago)


  • Brandon Wallingford  (Jan 20, 2019)

    +28tayloranne figure out that part and you won't have to worry about the rest.

  • Mike Arredondo  (May 23, 2018)

    I feel like this could have been another 10-15 mins longer

  • Krystal Zhang  (Dec 1, 2018)

    +Moto Halo 中国以前也不是一夫多妻制的吗

  • The Prince Of Puppyvil  (May 24, 2018)

    I agree

  • TheZoeBig  (May 25, 2018)

    You know what else is everywhere in nature?Rape, cannibalism, infanticide, etc...Justifying animalistic behavior in humans based on its ubiquity in nature is regressive.

  • Carlitox b  (Feb 9, 2019)

    it's not about justifying these behavoirs It's about explain why they happend, there is Rape, cannibalism, infanticide in the human race that doesnt mean is right it is just who we are

  • The Young Germans  (Jan 9, 2019)

    While rape, cannibalism and infanticide are acts of violence, having consentual sex with different people isn't. Therefore you can't compare these crimes (doing something against ones will) with something you just don't like (people having sex with more people than you).

  • Anunay Sinha  (May 24, 2018)

    I hate the statement *Monogamy is not natural* You know what else is not natural. Living in Concrete Buildings. It's natural to live in caves let's go back there xD xD Human development and evolution doesn't mean a thing right. xDAlso Monogomy in Animals is not THAT uncommon. Wolves, Gibbons, french angel fish, barn owls etc. There are multiple studies on this.'s just a choice two humans can make. The animals that do monogamy do it for hormonal, ch...

  • Carlitox b  (Feb 9, 2019)

    monogamy doesn't come natural for us, it's more of a choose than a normal human behavior

  • Vladimiros Karin  (Jan 30, 2019)

    Don't forget penguins and dik-diks too.

  • Kim Marino  (Jun 11, 2018)

    This video gives false and misleading information, monogamy is considered by most top anthropologist to be one of the big achievements of modern societies and it's advantages are indubitable. It might not be seem like the most natural relationship system when you consider our natural impulses, but our natural impulses often include also violence, hate, killing, discrimination and so on: our nature should rarely be considered a guide to a happy life. Here is a good explanation of this and I advise peopl...

  • Caitlyn Malik  (Jan 20, 2019)

    Wrong. We're taught "violence, hate, killing, discrimination." Very dangerous to call those things natural. Maybe you should go back and consult those *cultural anthropologists who can show you how human social systems have changed throughout time. Let me ask you this: if we should all ignore our natural impulses when designing our lives, who should I turn to to design my life? You? God? The president? Denying the legitimacy of people's desires, feelings, interests, etc. and their agency to l...

  • ablurida  (Nov 30, 2018)

    THANK YOU!!! I've heard the natural impulse argument too many times for too many different subjects and I completely agree with you.