Carry guns are a compromise? No way. I know someone out there makes a 14 round 45 that will fit in my pocket, less than 16 ounces, with the recoil of a 22.
To the OP, I'll second what others have said. If she hasn't shot before, start with a 22 and work up. Go to a range and rent some guns.
Picking out a gun for your stepdaughter based on our advice is going to be about as successful as you picking out a prom dress for her based on our advice.