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The history of marriage - Alex Gendler

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A white, puffy dress. Eternal love. A joint tax return. Marriage means something different to everyone and has changed over time and across cultures. Alex Gendler traces the history of getting hitched, providing insights on polygamy, same-sex unions and even marriage between the dead and the living.

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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Artist Jeremy Jusay
  • Producer Aaron Augenblick
  • Compositor Kristofer Wollinger
  • Narrator Michelle Snow

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Catalogue of rules governing marriage and family organization across different cultures.
Overview of early development of marriage from prehistoric arrangements
Studies of polyandry in Tibet.
Is love a signal winding through your neural pathways? A cliche? A cult? Love is easy to compare but difficult to define, maybe because we’re fundamentally biased; we try to define love while falling in or out of it. And love feels differently to every person who feels it, but this subjective emotion has evolutionary explanations, too. Brad Troeger takes a shot at the definition of love.
When two people join a dating website, they are matched according to shared interests and how they answer a number of personal questions. But how do sites calculate the likelihood of a successful relationship? Christian Rudder, one of the founders of popular dating site OKCupid, details the algorithm behind 'hitting it off.'
A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, pointing not only to recent decisions that have struck down bans in other states but also to older rulings on a person's right to marry. Read the entire article here.
Same-sex marriage is legally recognized in some jurisdictions within the United States and by the federal government. As of January 2014, seventeen states (California,Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington), as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized same-sex marriage, although the Illinois law will not become effective until June 1, 2014. EightNative American tribal jurisdictions issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Oregon recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states. Ohio recognizes out-of-state marriages for death certificate purposes only. Missouri recognizes legal out-of-state same-sex marriages for joint tax returns purposes only. Utah recognizes same-sex marriages performed while they were legal in the state for tax purposes only.
Big Love is an American television drama that aired on HBO between March 2006 and March 2011. The show is about a fictional fundamentalist Mormon family in Utah that practices polygamy. Big Love stars Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin, as well as a large supporting cast.
Here's a list of people with the longest marriages.

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About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Artist Jeremy Jusay
  • Producer Aaron Augenblick
  • Compositor Kristofer Wollinger
  • Narrator Michelle Snow

Share

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