In contemporary English, the terms "male" and "female" seem to be almost as commonly applied to people as "man" and "woman". For example, I see people posting questions on certain StackExchange sites starting with "I am a 23 year old male" or similar.
As a non-native (but fluent) speaker of English, this usage still bothers me for reasons I will explain below. I would like to know if this is just because of a bias coming from my native language, or if native English speakers also perceive these terms in a similar way to me.
Both in my mother tongue and other languages I speak, the direct translation of "male" and "female" are either applied to animals only, or are used in technical or scientific contexts. "Male elephant" is natural. "Human male" also does occur in a scientific text, after all humans are mammals (a kind of animal, from a biological perspective). The police may use "male suspect", as this is again a kind of technical jargon (and it goes the extra mile to be strictly objective). Then it's easy to see how this can get shortened into just "male", e.g. "60 year old male", in a police communication.
But hearing these words used in everyday speech always leaves me with a bad taste. In a way, it feels like talking about people as if they were animals when using "male"/"female" instead of the more common man/boy/lad/whatever. It feels ugly and almost rude.
Thus my question is not about the literal meaning of these terms, but their connotations, and how (or whether) these connotations have changed during the past few decades.
Do native speakers sometimes perceive these terms the same way I do? Or am I just influenced by the bias from my native language?
Finally, is my perception correct that the everyday use of these terms has significantly increasing during the last decade? Are there differences in the nuances of these terms between countries (e.g. UK vs US)?