Perhaps Man’s greatest fear is his ultimate irrelevance, that we really don’t make a difference and that in the greater scheme of things, our lives are for naught. This is why people yearn to leave a legacy, and it is often for this reason that people have children. The historical tendency to value male babies over females is due to the fact that it was (is?) the male who would carry on the family name and legacy. Upon marriage, females were typically absorbed into the family of the husband.
One of the major debates in Jewish law is whether mitzvoth require kavanah, intent to fulfill the mitzvah (see for example Brachot13a). As a general rule, those mitzvoth which are dependent on actions--for example, shaking a lulav or eating matzah--are mitzvoth for which kavanah, while ideally present, is not required; after all, I did what I had to do.
When making reference to biblical verses, we tend to identify them by chapter and verse. This most convenient system is of non-Jewish origin and occasionally deviates from the division of texts as understood by our Sages. While one might be tempted to say that a more traditional approach would divide the text according to parshat hashavua (the weekly Torah reading cycle), that, too, is of later origin. Our division into 54 parshiot was only finalized in the middle ages, hundreds of years after the close of the Talmudic period.