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.