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
    Vox  4 months ago +555

    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!

    • Mr Fox
      Mr Fox  14 days ago

      Of course you do. You love laughing at mind controlling the weak who believe your lies.

    • xandercorp
      xandercorp  1 months ago

      +Gfischt This episode being disappointing from a factual point of view has nothing to do with "protecting" monogamy.

    • Gfischt
      Gfischt  1 months ago

      Relax, monogamist enforcers. Take a break.
      You still move inside heteronormativity in most societies and it's us, polyamurous or relationship anarchy-people who have to justify ourselves in our daily lifes or are deliberately misunderstood.
      Nobody wants to "steal" monogamy from you. Do it with people who think the same and you'll be in good hands.
      It will be even more sincere beside this variety of other options.
      So, yes to diversity and yes to individual solutions for anybody to make them happy.

    • carla c
      carla c  1 months ago


    • xandercorp
      xandercorp  1 months ago

      This episode was very disappointing, borderline propagandistic. You can vet your content and sources better than this, Vox.

  • jennifervan75
    jennifervan75  yesterday

    I don't care what people do.
    If they're married to 1 or multiple people,whatever that's their choice.
    Just don't cheat.

  • CiefSapien
    CiefSapien  3 days ago

    Grades es tremenda serie y que la halla esto un canal de YouTube es increíble

  • Kelly Honos
    Kelly Honos  4 days ago

    I wonder why if we're coded to be poly-amorous, why do we feel jealous?

  • Iris 20
    Iris 20  4 days ago

    Great line in the ending!

  • Jakob Dodd
    Jakob Dodd  6 days ago

    Wow, so edgy, so against-the-mainstream. How do you do it, Vox?

  • Dương Nguyễn
    Dương Nguyễn  7 days ago

    I voluteer to make a Vietnamese subtitles for this video. If you're interested, please send me the English srt file.

  • shelah cooper
    shelah cooper  8 days ago

    your episode on The Worlds Water Crisis has been the most educational and enlightening thing I have learned in 30 mins. What a tragic situation we are in, thank you for sharing the reality.

  • pookamonsta
    pookamonsta  8 days ago

    wow i started watching the show on netflix, then started watching this channel a few days ago. i didn’t even realize it is their show

  • Yvar Navarrete Figueroa

    What is song´s name from 1:43.??

  • dwyer811
    dwyer811  13 days ago


  • Hunter Vogl
    Hunter Vogl  14 days ago

    We’ve evolved monogamous relationships rather recently in our evolutionary history. The desire to have more than one partner is simply a leftover of our time as apes. It’s like our tailbone or appendix. The failure of modern monogamy comes down to different problems we face as a society, and each person as an individual.

  • Mr Fox
    Mr Fox  14 days ago +1

    More propaganda to bring down the west. And the sheep lap it up.

  • Steven Medina
    Steven Medina  15 days ago

    I've loved multiple people before that's not a crime lmfaoo

  • Uzoma Acholonu
    Uzoma Acholonu  15 days ago +1

    A case for monogamy:
    The law of scarcity is at play in all aspects of life. Humans have unlimited wants but resources themselves (while admittedly having infinite utility) are inherently finite, as validated according to the fundamental law of thermal dynamics (the law of conservation, "Energy is neither created nor destroyed"). Still on relative terms, there exists a spectrum of winners and looser, the extremes being those who nearly have it all and those who have next to none. we all have the unlimited wants but we all can get everything we want. moreover, in most cases we dont NEED everything we want. Limitation and restraint aren't particularly sexy words but they are often associated with those who tend to be winners in society overall. its is readily apparent that in nearly all instances, the folks who best identify the very most important things the both need and want then vehemently pursue those things first, end up getting more than those who don't. simply put, its all about focus and investment.
    Someone works hard to get everything she gets and values the time she put into working towards what she got that she also takes care of what she already has. This makes the effort she exerts more valuable because the things she has last longer. Consequently, taking care of what she has means time not spent working to get more so she has to be specific/strategic in what she gets now as it determines what she will able to get in the future also. If she applies this to as many aspects of her decisions in life, she'll find that not only does she get more of the things she targets, she gets better quality versions, that last longer and also gets more utility out of them too. additionally, due to all of that, she also wastes a lot less time, effort and money which ends up getting her more than she even wants. Alternatively, those who go for everything they want impulsively without focus may end up with things that dont last, dont matter or dont help ultimately. as a result, they are worse off even though they got the first thing they wanted.
    There exist a issue with immediate gratification and it is pervasive in many areas of modern society. Impulsive is often the root to obesity, bankruptcy, crime and ignorance. Most people wouldn't like to be described as impulsive but now it's starting to become an accepted norm in relationships. Just because you want something doesn't mean its wise to act on the impulse. we are all impulsive to an extent but respect those who control their urges. impulses are natural but the goal is to reduce impassivity thus Restraint is respected.
    Monogamy is bad for intimacy its bad for curiosity and sexual novelty. if built correctly (intelligently and intentionally), the familial bond in monogamy should wain at the same rate as strong friendships do. Most people dont loose best friends they made as adults. So given this, either you created a poor friendship foundation with your partner or you based your friendship with someone on sex primarily. that seems kind of messed up. Even if you love that person intimately but want someone else only sexually, then you've based that relationship with that someone else primarily on sex. I might be weird but I don't want to be seen as only having the utility of sex, but everyone is different. sex is one aspect of a relationship, like attractiveness, health, intelligence, admiration, respect, compatibility but for oddly sex is the one that we rebuild relationship constructs for? If you think about your last relationships, im sure it would be easy to see where you compromised, where you took less because they were worth it. i dont find polygamous people arent in monogamous relationships because they want someone else to play backgammon with. Its because of sex. Ask yourself, could you live without sex? Sex in general is really sensationalized these days. Don't get me wrong, I love to do and love having it but I feel like some people center their lives around it. sex inst inherently important. Furthering humanity as a whole is what matters, as a result sex has significant value. But with IVF, surrogacy and adoption, sex isnt the only way to have kid. Love sex but lets not become slaves to it.
    Everyone wants freedom which is why many seek choice. The goal is to maximize options but there is an important distinction to make. options mean choice but choice does not mean freedom. example, would rather be given something you wanted but didnt get to choose, or be given the option to choose between two things you dont want? it would seem by that logic that freedom isnt always good to want thats not true either. FREEDOM is always good, OPTIONS arent always. making your kid to get down from the roof is giving him the freedom to continue playing without the risk of a broken leg as opposed to giving him the option to risk it. In this case, Freedom is the availability of choice from solely good options. Polyamory only guarantees options, not necessarily good ones.
    Personally, How can you have a strong relationship with someone if you actively give part of yourself to others? Maybe I just dont want to have to pump energy in to more than one person when in most cases, one person can be more than enough if I focus my efforts.
    Monogamy might be harder for some but it doesn't make it obsolete. its a prime exercise in limitation, focus, restraint, and investment. I think monogamy may have gotten a bit of a bad rep but ultimately, if done right, there's one thing monogamy really does well. It helps give the assurance that there is at least one person who cares about you solely because you care about them.
    to me at least, I think that's worth the effort.
    (forgive any typos)

  • Ben Silva
    Ben Silva  16 days ago

    And Adaptability is exactly opposite of monogamy which is rigidity.

  • Anusha Reddy
    Anusha Reddy  16 days ago

    Pati Parmeshwar - Husband is like God to us, many Gods in Hindu culture have more than one wife.

  • Ali Mian
    Ali Mian  17 days ago

    Can anyone help me track ID 9.33 ”Bonobos have sex at the drop of a hat”?

  • Alex F
    Alex F  19 days ago

    I LOVE the theme tune music on this series