I often see people triggered by the use of the word "boy" or "girl" (not just here but workplace etc.) even when it is not being used in a demeaning way. I've been trying to figure out if there is any pattern to it. (I have some theories but not enough data...)
An example, my office staff don't object if, for instance, I say "Take these forms to the front office and one of the girls will help you." - but others will take offense for them. My male colleague got called on the carpet by his wife for this. When I talked to the staff about it, they didn't really see that there was anything to take offense at - they also will refer to themselves as girls. (i.e. "We girls in the front office were talking about...) Perhaps this is because my (relatively young) male colleague is the ONLY man working in the office amongst 8 woman and he is the newest member of the team - so there is no "male oppression" baggage to counteract?
For lack of better terms we use the words "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" because people understand what we are talking about - we don't say "manfriend" and "womanfriend" because that creates unnecessary confusion. When I say that I have a husband and a boyfriend - I'm sure noone on this site assumes that I am dating a minor (at least I hope not
For the record, I often refer to my guys as "my boys" (hubby is a few years older than me, Dude is a few years younger - we are all in our 30s) - and they will refer to themselves and each other this way. ("I wasn't the one who made you coffee this morning...it must have been your OTHER boy - I think he likes you.
Just some thoughts/observations.