As others have pointed out, the evolution, both in Latin/Romance and in Old/Modern English is contrarywise. The old masculine word (wer, vir) went extinct or archaic or suffered a semantic shift (Portuguese varão, male person, only used in literary register, but also barão, baron; English were, male person, now extinct); the old neutral word (homo, man) shifted to mean just male person except, but even this is going obsolete, in an abstract sense, as the name of the species) and was replaced by the Latin (grammatically feminine) word (personna -> English person, Portuguese (still grammatically feminine) pessoa), while the feminine word was kept (wyfman -> woman or replaced by euphemisms, neologisms or, like in French, just by the word for female (It. donna, Pt. mulher, Fr. femme).
I suppose that this evolution is similar in English and Romance rather due to coincidence than out of some universal linguistic pattern, though my ignorance of anything beyond the already mentioned languages makes it impossible for me to demonstrate. But there are, or so I am told, languages completely devoid of gender, such as Japanese, Hungarian or Turkish, so it cannot be completely universal.
In Romance languages, anyway, the whole masculine and neutral genders of Latin collapsed into what is called the masculine gender, but is perhaps closer to Latin's neutral.
Also, there is some confusion between semantics and grammar almost always when speakers of English try to understand gender in other languages: a word can be grammatically of one gender, but semantically refer to something of the opposite sex - or with no sex at all. And such confusion tends to get politicised in English, with misguided attempts to root patriarchy into linguistic features of modern European languages, usually through anachronisms or false etymologies.