Female and male are unambiguous differentiators for the binary nature of the sexes. I can’t say what people intend when they use the word since I can’t read minds. It may well be what you say in some cases but it perhaps a bold assumption to assign to all who use it. In some contexts it is a relevant discriminator (at the doctor’s office), in others there is no need to go beyond human or person.
I’ve never seen anyone object to the interchangeability of femal and woman before. I’ll give it consideration pertaining to context in use of the word. Interesting topic.