I first met her 3 years ago, a skinny, blue-eyed, thundercloud who likely had some bipolar traits reflected in a host of power struggles with her peers and her parents. One that annoyed her most was her male friends' having sharply different privileges than she did. Her wish list included freedom to hang at the bowling alley with 21 yo males, to smoke, to control her own curfew, and to tease guys on the phone with sexy talk. She was 14.
Her interpretation was that parental restrictions meant that she was untrusted (true) and unimportant (not true). I manufactured some evolutionary theory and data to explain that restrictions are a reflection of how valuable she is.
1) Daughters are more valuable than boys because daughters are child carriers. Thus, a pregnancy means that she will have to care the next 18 years for the infant. The investment that she makes with that child will have different outcomes depending on paternal traits. Waiting to make her choices means a better chance to use some Symons-Buss to get a longer term partner. Guys have the opposite tactic; get her pregnant so that they take possession of her through the child. Guys also lie when selling themselves to girls, and will tell similar lies to many girls. (Although she enjoyed using lies, she intensely hated receiving them.)
2) Given her age, it was also likely that her parents would have to help her rear the child. Thus, her parents wanted some choices in the matter.
3) We know daughters are more valuable that boys because most fathers become homicidal if their daughter is molested; less true for sons. Teenage males are often seen prematurely as able to care for themselves; this error may be a reflection of their lesser value compared with the girls.
4) Girls usually maintain the family ties. Whomever she picks as a partner will likely be a close member of her parents's family. Sons tend to drift off, to join their brides for family events, and depend on their bride to send moms the birthday cards.
Her manic soul still didn't care for the boundaries but there was at least a reason for them and she stopped challenging most of them except for cigarettes, not a reproductive issue at the time. The war drifted to matters of "her" room (vs "her-parents'-room-that-she-was-using-for-a-few-years") and her grades, so my extempo explanation may have helped somewhat. (1)
Periodically, I am struck that some of the girls can be just as hyperactive, determined, and manipulative as the guys and perhaps even more preoccupied with coalitions and being the alpha, either for personal power or to get the "best" male. They compete using sex, appearance, and jealousy.
I'm not aware of research addressing bipolar "dominance" issues with females. De Waal (1996 "Good Natured," Cambridge, MA: Harvard) discusses different treatment afforded the children of senior chimpanzee females and incidents of female alliances that control aggression from senior males. This seems like an important area because of the tendency for "driven females" to select equally driven, socially disruptive males. The female can stabilize a manic male or can keep him in a perpetual spin. (I know relationships that fit either extreme.) All of us need the females on the side of tradition and stability; we need to invest in them for longterm gains. Our culture does the opposite, however, and caters to the guys who disrupt things today and this week by lying, stealing, and property destruction.
I asked her much later why she had abandoned most of her conduct disorder. "There's no use doing anything sneaky because my parents always catch me." Intense parental monitoring helped although it was difficult logistically and emotionally on everyone. Again, our theme was that "We watch you because you're so important to us." I suspect she still evaded their rules at times but was far more guarded about it and stayed out of trouble.