The ability to thrive in a competitive environment is not a male trait. Our response to competition has less to do with our gender and far more to do with the way we are raised, our previous experiences and, bizarrely, our genetics.
A study undertaken in Taiwan found that a significant indicator of a child's ability to thrive in a competitive environment was the presence of the fast-acting COMT gene. The gene is responsible for clearing dopamine out of the frontal cortex. Those that clear it out quicker, handle stressful and competitive environments better.
Stress floods the frontal cortex with dopamine. The fast-acting enzymes are able to clear this dopamine out quickly and maintain a clear head under pressure. Those with slower-acting COMT genes are not able to clear it fast enough and have more negative outcomes in high-stress, competitive environments. 
Because we inherit one COMT from the father and one from the mother, 50% of children are a mixture of the two and are not particularly advantaged or disadvantaged by a highly competitive environment. But around 25% of students will find they are highly suited to competitive environments, and around 25% will be particularly unsuited to competitive environments. This depends on which version of the COMT gene they inherit and has nothing to do with their gender.