A picklist is a list of data values saved to a demographic field. Creating a picklist for demographic fields allows you to ensure data integrity. If ever an import is made with non-matching values, you will be notified to correct the data.
There are multiple variations to flag a gender: M, Male, male etc. If you create a gender picklist, you can ensure all data being stored for your contacts will have the same values, across the board. This will ensure integrity of any segmentation and dynamic content you use in the future.