Reading the entire Ask MetaFilter thread, I encountered the following comments and resultant dialogue which may aid. Please inform me of any evidence or references.
Interestingly, English is probably mostly genderless because it is a creole of Norman French and Saxon English, which itself was more or less a creole of Danish and Old English by the time the Normans got there.
So, twice English had large groups of people who couldn't remember each other's noun genders, and probably mumbled something like "the" instead of whatever the correct pronoun was. Eventually everyone gave up on gender.
posted by musofire at 2:27 PM on December 4, 2012 [4 favorites]
[...] [In reference to the above conjecture] This is silly.
It's not how language and history typically work and wouldn't explain why other European languages have retained gender and other complicated features despite longer and much more frequent periods of occupation by groups of people with even harder language differences to overcome. If one believes it, it poses the question of why the residents of Britain were so stupid - people all over the world speak multiple languages fluently with no problem, and without formal education! I've spent time in places where uneducated peasants have spoken fluent German, Romani, Romanian and Hungarian (three separate branches of IE and one totally unrelated language) for centuries without any more blending going on than the borrowing of a few words.
There are quite a lot of serious theories out there why English lost gender, but that isn't one of them!
Here's an interesting one. [...]
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 11:57 PM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]
The last link above is too long to reproduce here and so I do not unless requested;
but it is entitled From Grammatical to Natural Gender
by Jesse Archibald-Barber BA (Victoria)