I found this note from an experienced referee (FirstTouch at the NC Soccer Forums) who had an insightful post about the differences in how boys and girls may retaliate at the older ages. The context was a question about how a referee would handle a certain type of retaliation in a girls match:
I’d add that since this is a GIRL’S game rather than a boy’s game, one characteristic difference is that when you ref a girl’s game, you need to be aware that girls are more inclined to bide their time after the originally provoking incident to exact tit-for-tat, and something can happen in the game 20 minutes later that is in fact meant to be the continuation of, or tit-for-tat retaliation for, the original incident. And many girls are somewhat crafty about how they go about it. So if the attacker does get taken down hard several minutes later (or even the center who said the original words in question), I’d be much more inclined to yellow-card the perp than without the context.
Boys tend to immediately escalate from some provocation, and if you can quickly control it (with or without cards), it will far more times than not simply blow over. Shove or hard words tend to be immediately responded to with more hard words and shove etc, with boys.
I’ve found that to be true as well. The boys try to make their point early while the girls will bide their time. Not that any coach would/should advocate retaliation. But with competitive kids, its something you definitely have to watch for. Just figured I’d share – interesting.