Almost half of all marriages end in divorce–is there anything that can be done about this?

Researchers have come up with an incredible idea: A new kind of "love drug" that can heal wounded relationships. It will in the form an inhaler and be prescribed by a relationship counselor. You’d sniff it in the presence of your loved one and, as the chemical entered your bloodstream, it would strengthen your bond.

Such a drug would contain doses of two structurally similar hormones: oxytocin and vasopressin. Scientists know this because of the study of voles: Prairie voles tend to be monogamous while their cousins, the mountain voles, are usually not. This contrast makes them valuable subjects for research.
read more

Unlike our closest cousins the chimpanzees, we don’t live in groups in which the males share (and fight over) females–instead, we tend to pair up. How did this happen?

A new study shows that weak males who were inferior fighters chanced upon a winning solution: Pick one female out of the group and treat her especially well, so she’ll stay with you. It was the beginning of monogamy.

In the May 28th edition of the Los Angeles Times, Rosie Mestel quotes biomathematician Sergey Gavrilets as saying that this mating strategy may "have triggered a key step in the very long process of the evolution of the family. Without it, we wouldn’t have the modern family."
read more

Past studies have shown "college is the great equalizer" in the labor market, dampening social class differences. But the same can’t be said for the marriage market: Social and cultural factors, not just income, are central to marriage more

God may be a mathematical formula, but it turns out that marriage is too. While we stand in line at the grocery store, we’re all used to seeing fan magazines touting the latest celebrity wedding. It seems like only a short time later, standing in the same line, we see a tabloid headline announcing that the marriage is over. Six years ago one mathematician worked out a formula that he claims predicts IF this will happen, and if so, HOW SOON.

The equation’s variables include the relative fame of the husband and wife, their ages, the length of their courtship, their marital history, and their sex-symbol status
read more