‘Sex roles and stereotypes’ examines the notion, implicit in many of the original ideas about sexual selection, that males and females have natural ‘roles’ with characteristic behaviour associated with each sex. It also explores further the reasons behind deviations from the ‘typical’ sex roles in mate choice and in mating competition. Are there ‘standard’ male and female roles in both humans and other animal species? One version of sex roles holds that males are generally dominant and females submissive, stemming from the way that sexual selection favours different behaviours in each sex. This could mean that sexual selection dictates particular behaviours in males and females. But in fact, sexual behaviour is extraordinarily varied in nature.