Reader's Guide for VoiceMale

Discussion questions

Chapter One: The Spark
Are men more likely to be attracted to someone who is much like them or much different?
What are the female personality traits that men say are most attractive to them when they are looking for a partner or spouse?

Chapter Two: The Decision
How are men who married before 1970 different from those who married after 1970 when it comes to their reasons for marrying?
What are some “practical reasons” that men give for marrying?

Chapter Three: The Wedding
Describe the three types of weddings mentioned in this chapter?
Men are often seen as disinterested in wedding plans. Do you think this assessment is accurate?

Chapter Four: Newlyweds
What is the main task that successful couples accomplish in the newlywed stage (first three years) of marriage?
What is the main lesson that couples need to learn to argue/disagree successfully?

Chapter Five: Family Times
Why are the family years considered to be the least satisfying phase of marriage for men?
How can couples improve their chances of maintaining their marriage through this phase?

Chapter Six: Empty Nest
Why does the quality of the marriage tend to improve (from the husband’s perspective) during the empty-nest phase?
How does a couple’s sexual relationship tend to change in the empty-nest years?

Chapter Seven: Mature Marriage
How are husbands who have been married for thirty-five years or longer different from husbands who have been married in the past five years?
What is the role of sex in this phase of marriage?

Chapter Eight: Housework: The Link to Sex
What is the link (according to the VoiceMale Survey) between housework and sex?
How does a fair division of housework affect other aspects of marriage?

Chapter Nine: Sex
What is the typical course of the husband-wife sexual relationship through a marriage?
What are some ways that men deal with the reality that (in four out of five marriages) their wives are less interested in sex than they are?

Chapter Ten: Affairs
Why do men say they have affairs?
What are some ways that men deal with the knowledge that their wives have had affairs?

Chapter Eleven: Money and Work
Why do couples so often involve one partner who tends to spend easily and another partner who tends to focus on saving?
How has the women’s movement of the 1960s and 1970s affected marital issues surrounding balancing work and family?

Chapter Twelve: Arguing
What are three arguing strategies that men use that they consider to be unhealthy?
How can a husband overcome a tendency to use physical or emotional abuse?

Chapter Thirteen: How to Change a Man
What’s the first step that husbands suggest their wives take before trying to change their husbands?
What do husbands say is the most effective way to get them into therapy?

Chapter Fourteen: Parents and In-Laws
How does a man’s father shape the way the son deals with his marriage?
How does a man’s mother shape the way the son deal with his marriage?

Chapter Fifteen: Second Marriages
What are some of the major factors that determine whether a man will get along with his stepchildren?
How do first marriages tend to be different for men than second marriages?

Chapter Sixteen: Advice
What do husbands mean when they suggest that each partner in a couple “nurture your partner’s dreams”?
What do husbands suggest is the role of “friendship” in marriage?

Chapter Seventeen: The Male Style of Loving
What are the three main elements of “the male style of loving”?
What else do you believe is uniquely or predominately male in regard to relationships?

Exercises For Classroom Use

Exercise 1
Distribute VoiceMale Survey (contact Neil Chethik at for free copy of survey)
Have students take the survey (or questions others with it), compile the results, and analyze them.
What do students think of the questions?
Why do they think it was constructed the way it was?
In what ways might questions be biased?
How do their findings differ from the findings cited in the book?
Why might the findings be different?

Exercise 2
Have students ask their married parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and/or others to take the survey.
Compile the results and compare them to the author’s findings.
How are their findings similar and different from the author’s?
What factors might make them different?

Exercise 3
Have students create their own relationship survey.
What questions would they ask that are not on the VoiceMale Survey?
What VoiceMale Survey questions would they remove?
How would they change the order of the questions?

Exercise 4
Have students take a sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle lengthwise, and list the Benefits of Marriage (from their perspective) on one side of the paper, and the Costs of Marriage on the other side.
Then ask students to get in groups of 3 or 4 to discuss.
After 10 minutes of discussion, call the class together to report 1) the specific costs and benefits they cited, and 2) the areas of agreement and disagreement that occurred in their group discussion.
Did males and females have different perspectives when weighing the costs and benefits?

Exercise 5
Have the students pair off and assume the roles of a married or cohabitating couples.
Ask each pair to come up with a fair division of household labor.
Remind them that whatever they decide, they would have to live with the arrangement for at least six months.
Give them 10-15 minutes to make the division.
Did everyone finish?
What process did each pair employ to create the division?
Did they write things down?
Was there tension in the negotiations?


Check Out More of VoiceMale
Introduction (PDF)
Table of Contents
Excerpt (PDF)
Quotes about VoiceMale
Reader's Guide



Copyright 2009 Neil Chethik