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In a P4A-sponsored video, hank discusses monogamy...why it's so weird, and why it's so wonderful.
(0:00) Good morning Brittany. Monogamy is a weird thing. We hear about it all the time, happening in the animal kingdom, but it doesn't.

(0:06) People say Swans breed for life, they don't. I mean sometimes they do, if they die young. Swans also get divorced, I guess, you would say they also cheat on each other.

(0:14) In fact tons of birds that once looked monogamous to us turn out to be what we call socially monogamous

(0:19) which means that they pair together and they build nests together and they raise kids together- sometimes for their whole lives-

(0:24) but that doesn't mean that they don't always have a little say something a little something on the side.

(0:28) But when we say monogamy, we usually mean social and sexual monogamy, and that is practiced by very few species.

(0:35) but humans are one of them. Though we don't always do it perfectly, we do have a social institution that tends to require it of us. 

(0:41) It's called marriage, and it's one of the weirdest and most wonderful things that humans do. 

(0:45) Now monogamy isn't just really quite nice, which it is for a lot of people, it's also a really great survival strategy.

(0:51) We have biological systems inside of us, hormones and stuff that make us enjoy long term relationships.

(0:57) And we have social and economic structures that actually make it easier for us to get by as a pair.

(1:00) And then of course there is all of the crazy difficult stuff that we tend to do as people, particularly raising children and human children, I don't know if you have noticed this, are some of the most inept children in the animal kingdom.

(1:13) They're so bad at being animals. They don't reach full socialized maturity until like 20% of the way through their lives. That's nuts.

(1:21) And that's with crazy unnatural extended life spans, not that I mind. Unnatural sounds like it's bad. It's not, I don't want to die.

(1:27) The point is, since kids are so bad at being people, it's nice to have two people on a team raising them.

(1:32) And so we have a social structure to reinforce monogamy to put a social and cultural knot on that structure in addition to the biological and the individual one. 

(1:42) We do this as a sign to each other and to society at large, that for real, this ain't no joke. We're not screwing around here. This is forealzies. 

(1:50) And marriage is remarkably good at that job and it is really really wonderful for individual people and I think for society as a whole.

(1:56) About eight years ago I did it myself, and it does something to a relationship that I don't think can be done otherwise.

(2:01) We call it tying the knot because it ties two people together, but it also ties different aspects of our lives together. The culture aspect, social, individual, the biological, our experience, our love.

(2:13) I have never made a better decision in my life. Congratulations to Blake and Brittany. Thanks for suggesting this topic and John I will see you on Tuesday.