Not necessarily. The major threat to children in primitive hunter gatherer societies is not predators but hunger. By staying smaller during their formative years, they reduce the amount of calories need to survive.
This. Also, it takes time to learn the vast amount of information that it takes for a human being to really be smart enough to manipulate its environment... which evolution has obviously selected for. Chimps, for example, often actually outpace human learning for up to 2 years, but then humans continue to learn while the chimp rapidly levels off. Keeping resource use to a low level during this long learning phase is likely a long-term survival trait.
Also it should be noted that another factor in humans' slow growth is already known: humans can only have babies with brains so big, before birth becomes a very big problem. So a longer period is needed for the human brain to grow to its adult size.
But the selection pressures are different on boys and girls. Girls are generally able to procreate as soon as they reach puberty. But boys need to wait till they are older, and have built up social status. So it makes sense for girls to mature faster, and that is what happens. Look at a group of kids in 4th or 5th grade, and the girls are several inches taller than the boys.
It is more accurate to say that boys and girls mature at different rates.
If you adjust for the probable influence of estrogen mimics in our current environment, human females start to mature sexually before males do, but actually finish their sexual maturation later. You are referring more to social factors than genetic: often males need to be older to establish themselves in order to semi-permanently mate, but that is not the same things as physical sexual maturity needed to procreate.