Glad the links were helpful.
First, boxing will give you technique that can be applied in "self defense". It does not cover a bunch of the situational and legal issues surrounding using violence to defend yourself from violence. That is fine. It is still of great value. Boxing will also allow you to spar/fight in a controlled environment and will give you "less to prove" to yourself about fighting. I am pretty sure those links had some book recommendations from FightinIrish that delve into what I am writing about here. I think boxing is a great choice.
RE: your Gym
That certainly sounds like either a "cardio like" boxing class, the fact you are hitting bags and pads already makes it different from one of the the pure cardio-kickboxing classes, or it is an introductory class that happens to have a large number of women. At only 2 classes in I would not rush to judgement.
Questions to ask are:
1.)Do fighters(amateur or professional boxers) train at the gym? Have you seen them?
2.)What is the layout of the gym? Is there a ring? What equipment is around(how many heavy bags, speed bags, slip bags/Maize Bags)? Is it in a larger workout facility?
3.)Have you seen other's getting one on one time with their trainers hitting pads? Pad work is a big part of boxing.
4.)How are classes/workouts/training times offered? Only one class 2 x a week would indicate it is "just a class" as opposed to a means to develop fighters.
The answers to these questions should give the rest of us an indication of what type of environment/class it is. The best answer though is to look at the coaches/trainers and ask them about who they have fighting. If you are interested in sparring/boxing training than ask them specifically about it and they should tell you. I would keep showing up, even if it is only until you switch to a different class/gym.