Im from the time Lego was crossing over from generic block sets to models with unique parts (70's) and I remember how cool it s when I finally got some jet engines in a helicopter set so my spaceships could get away from the long single wide pieces as engines.
As for girls, my daughter is 11 and on a trip to visit her grandfather in Florida, her one request was a visit to Lego land there. She spent $40 of her own money on LotR Legos because she thought the spider looked really cool. Ok, maybe I'm raising a Wednesday Addams but still, she loves all the Star Wars, Batman, and LotR sets. Not sure how Lego would market to girls with these sets; she just likes 'cool' stuff. Same goes with comic books: another male bastion. She loves the stories and does gravitate towards the female characters (Catwoman, Wonder Woman, Power Girl) but she also follows several male storylines as well (Batman, Thor, etc.). In comics she's aware enough of the marketing to boys and is quite vocal in the store when she spots a particularly suggestive cover. Who bows, she may grow up to be an executive at Lego or DC one day and decide how the marketing will be done.
Mines the one with the bloodstained 2 dot brick I just pulled from my heel.