I think it's as simple as shifts in societal perceptions of women and technology and how we perceive and interact with all sorts of gadgets now. 2001 was a long time ago and "traditional" then is not "traditional" now.
I think its up to the parents to make informed decisions based on the maturity of their own children. Today's culture is full of drugs, sex, etc. but in forms maybe not as obvious as GTA V. I grew up watching and playing a ton of violent games and movies and I turned out fine. If you know your child will take the game too seriously, don't buy it for them.