There is an event recounted in the book Naven (1936) by Gregory Bateson, on the Iatmul fisher-foragers of New Guinea, that I have not been able to get out of my head since I first read it a few years back. Some fifty years prior to Bateson’s writing, the village of Palimbai was celebrating the
"While the women took well to Christianity, much of the male bonding and social teaching that occurred within the cult was gone, and without the outlet for camaraderie and ritual meaning many men apparently lost interest in public life. Tuzin reports a rise of alcoholism and wife-beatings with the death of Nggwal, as the social positions of the men became more unstable."
It's unsurprising that, despite admitting knowledge of the men's secret activities, the women pretended ignorance and respected the ritual boundary between them. It's implied this was done out of a kind of pity, to spare the men from shame, but perhaps it was done from a kind of self-preservation--not only a fear of retaliation, but of what befalls a society when half its members no longer feel they have a meaningful role to play.
Cultural constructions are also discursive constructions -- we make them and break them with language, an evolved trait, for all sorts of reasons. Your examples are fascinating as always. In studies of the 6C Hejaz and the early Islamic texts I see echoes of this. A way of living suddenly becomes too hard to keep up for some reason. A new space is carved out and the complex human chemistry produces a new cultural form out of old material. Some amount of blood is shed. Palingenesis is pretty universal in discursive constructions around violence and I think you have pointed to the reason for that.
Traditions don't have to be optimal, they just have to be less suboptimal than the alternative. Much like the old joke about “I don't have to outrun a bear, I just have to outrun *you.*”