Interpersonal and psychosexual factors predicting HIV -related risky sex behaviors in heterosexually active women and men

Asako C Matsuura, University of Rhode Island


This study focused on psychosexual and interpersonal constructs and their relationship with partner risk and unprotected intercourse, based on the multifaceted model of HIV risk (MMOHR). The model was examined for 625 men and women (ages 18-24); the model was then compared across gender. ^ The MMOHR-based model was strongly supported. Having a higher sense of self-efficacy in using condoms, and a higher sense of assertiveness in practicing prevention both predicted decreased unprotected vaginal intercourse. Contrastingly, those better able to refuse unwanted sexual advances were more likely to report unprotected vaginal intercourse. Condom use assertiveness significantly predicted condom self-efficacy and condom negotiation. Having higher satisfaction and sense of control over one's sex life reduced partner risk behaviors as well as condom negotiation. ^ These findings suggest that although having the skills to communicate condom use is important, being invested in prevention is a stronger influence on whether the person engages in protected vaginal intercourse. The negative relationship between refusal assertiveness and unprotected vaginal intercourse suggests that if people are unable to avoid unwanted sexual contact, perhaps they are more diligent in using condoms, but if they are able to avoid unwanted sexual attention, then they are less likely to practice protected intercourse. ^ Most of the parameters predicting the risky sex behaviors were found to be comparable across gender. However, the relationship between condom use assertiveness and condom negotiation was significantly different. Additionally, men who were more satisfied with their sex life were less likely to endorse condom self-efficacy or condom negotiation, while women who felt more assertive in refusing unwanted sexual attention were more likely to report satisfaction over their sex life. These findings suggest that although men and women may be similar in whether they engage in risky sex, there are distinct differences in their communications and value systems that influence how they choose to assert themselves to sex partners. The findings in the study support the complexity of sexual decision making, importance of understanding sex within a partnership. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social

Recommended Citation

Asako C Matsuura, "Interpersonal and psychosexual factors predicting HIV -related risky sex behaviors in heterosexually active women and men" (2008). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3328725.