Most previous studies of vocal attractiveness have focused on preferences for physical characteristics of voices such as pitch. Here we examine the content of vocalizations in interaction with such physical traits, finding that vocal cues of social interest modulate the strength of men's preferences for raised pitch in women's voices. Men showed stronger preferences for raised pitch when judging the voices of women who appeared interested in the listener than when judging the voices of women who appeared relatively disinterested in the listener. These findings show that voice preferences are not determined solely by physical properties of voices and that men integrate information about voice pitch and the degree of social interest expressed by women when forming voice preferences. Women's preferences for raised pitch in women's voices were not modulated by cues of social interest, suggesting that the integration of cues of social interest and voice pitch when men judge the attractiveness of women's voices may reflect adaptations that promote efficient allocation of men's mating effort.
Keywords: mate preference, cue integration, mating effort