when introducing guns to my last gf, and at that time i owned about a dozen handguns (down to just a couple now),
i let her handle and try out every one i had which were varying sizes, slide lengths, but only calibers of 9mm and .45acp.
the biggest problem for her that stood out early on was racking the slide;
she almost could not even rack the slide on a short glock 26,
but she easily slapped it back on a long glock17.
in a gun store she had similar issues, we found certain brands of same-length slide were easier and others harder, for her to rack it. SW's M&P polymer pistols were among the easiest for her even when it was their compact model.
i theorized shorter slide means it has to have a stiffer spring and thus harder to rack than a larger gun.
2nd thing was grips, she did not like the tiny grip of a typical J-frame, she only liked those when they had a more medium sized grip. i figure the tiny grip's intent is to make it concealable, and you give up solid grippage.
she needed something she can rack easily if a pistol;
and a grip she can hold solidly.
she did prefer the lighter weight of polymers, scandium, aluminum; hated the guns that were steel.
so to someone who doesn't know guns, "tiny gun" does not mean it's good for a girl; kinda like goldilocks - the middle stuff is what worked best for her.
but a 3.8" is not what i call tiny, that's closer to middle; a 3" is pretty small and harder spring to rack, and sometimes too short of a grip too.