Among the editorial changes the Brothers Grimm (especially Wilhelm) made to previously published sources for their tales, as well as to successive editions of their own tales, were a number of purely linguistic, even grammatical ones. This article studies the tales’ use of the personal pronouns (neuter) “es” and (feminine) “sie” in reference to girls. While some correlation can be demonstrated with equally neuter or feminine nouns being used for them, in general the pronouns reflect personal characteristics of the referents, including especially sexual availability and goodness/badness.
Robinson, Orrin W.. "Does Sex Breed Gender? Pronominal Reference in the Grimms’ Fairy Tales." Marvels & Tales 21.1 (2007). Web. <http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/marvels/vol21/iss1/7>.