Separate bodies of literature exist on factors influencing negative or positive outcomes in terms of sexual health.
These research traditions have shown that sexual conduct is complex social behaviour. Both heterosexual pleasure and risk are influenced by a multitude of factors and cannot be reduced to separate causes. In this article we combine these separate areas of research by putting together the evidence on the use of contraceptives in general, condoms in particular, and on sexual aggression. The evidence on factors influencing either positive or negative outcomes regarding these risks is reviewed and common factors are identified. An integrated conceptual view of heterosexual risks is presented, in which interactional competence is taken to be a crucial concept. The competence of both heterosexual partners is considered to be related to factors in childhood and adolescence, the wider socio-cultural and interpersonal context, the specific meanings and functions of sexuality for the individual, and aspects of the immediate context. Possibilities of the model and directions for future research are briefly discussed.
I. Vanwesenbeeck, G. van Zessenz, R. Ingham, E. Jaramazovic, and D. Stevens. Factors and processes in heterosexual competence and risk: An integrated review of the evidence. Psychology and Health (1999) 14 (1) 25-50. [DOI: 10.1080/08870449908407312]