In the movie, Inside Out, have you ever wondered why the people in Riley’s head have different genders, but the rest of the characters, especially the parents, have all the people in their heads one specific gender?
I did some research and found that it wasn’t intentional. That being said, I have a theory as to why Riley has the people in her head with different genders.
Firstly she is young. She is at a time in her life where she is just testing with her emotions and trying to figure out how things work in this confused world.
Secondly I believe it is symbolism for Riley to find who she will be attractive to as she gets older. Now hear me out as I explain this, because it makes perfect sense. The thing that triggers Riley’s emotional rollercoaster is the move to California. Where she will be exposed to a variety of people with opened opinions on what defines marriage. As she gets older she will develop personal feelings for either the opposite sex or of her own. Once those feeling emerge she will then choose. Based on her decision will determine the gender roles for the characters in her head. This would explain why some people argue that they are a man stuck in a woman's body or vice versa.
But that's not all that will happen in the changing process. Riley will then have one of the emotions become the dominant one. As we saw in the dinner scene, the father's lead emotion is Anger and mother's is Sadness. Which opens up another can of worms that I won't get into detail with, because it would be off topic. Let's just hope that Riley's dominant emotion becomes Joy.