Steven Spielberg's ET, first released in 1982, was an instant box office success. While ET itself is outwardly androgynous, the characters in the movie refer to the alien as " he" . The alien's humanoid features including lack of hair and flat chest could arguably be more male than female, however, the lack of visible genitalia or classicaly male or female facial features defies clear gender identification. Perhaps the alien is more easily accepted as a male or boy, than a girl due to its near or complete nudity throughout the film, a characteristic more generally acceptable for a boy than for a girl in modern society.
The character has been compared to commonly worshipped Gods including Jesus Christ in his ability to heal, levitate and communicate without speaking. Perhaps this " godliness" with its suggestion of immortality and the lack of any need to procreate, gives more weight to the Extraterrestrial's identification as somewhere between male and female.