Plato’s Republic and the Christian Church face the same problem in integrating the thumos, the firry spirit, of young men into the community. The political community cannot ignore it. The explosion of the Arab world in 2011 was set off because one young man felt that his masculinity had been dishonored. He immolated himself, and large parts of the Arab world literally burst into flames. The Church in Spain in 1936-7 experienced the same male rage. Mostly, however, at least for the present, the male reaction is not destruction but indifference to or abandonment of the church.
The sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church also illustrated the conflict between the clergy and young males. The clergy has long sought to control the boisterousness and sexuality of young males, and it needs to be controlled. However, a significant portion of the clergy used this socially-authorized control to exercise control over the bodies of young males through sexual abuse and psychological manipulation. The victims had long been propagandized that priests were superior beings and that the laity were unimportant; what a priest wanted was what mattered. The victims were profoundly dishonored by the abuse. They were further dishonored by the reaction of the hierarchy to the abuse: the victims counted for nothing, the perpetrators for everything. Victims were ignored, brushed off, insulted. Their rage did not burst forth in murder, but in a decades-long legal campaign to force the Catholic hierarchy to apologize and pay for the abuse that they had tolerated; to acknowledge that the victims were indeed important, that their suffering was important, that the priests and bishops were not superior beings but in many cases of far lesser moral stature than the laity.