But still there is enough that’s unique about conservative styles of predation to draw some lessons for tradition-oriented cultures and communities.

One lesson is that any social order that vests particular forms of power in men needs to do more, not less, to hold the male of the species accountable.

Some cultural conservatives, in evangelical Christianity especially, combine a belief in male headship in churches and families with a “boys will be boys and girls shouldn’t tempt them” attitude toward sex. It’s a combination that’s self-contradictory and deeply toxic, handing men not just power but a permission slip to abuse it — which, predictably, they do.

Another lesson is that the impulse to hide or dismiss scandal because it hurts the short-term cause, which is common to all institutions but particularly strong for conservative ones, is a path to self-destruction in the long run.