The New York Times

It's Not That Men Don't Know What Consent Is

Think of a “bear.”

Shafia Zaloom, a health teacher in San Francisco, stood in front of her 10th grade sex ed class. It was the first day of the spring term and “bear,” at least when it was spelled that way, was not what the students expected to discuss.

Once their ursine images were firmly in place, Zaloom asked for descriptions. One student had pictured a grizzly; another was thinking about a black bear cub; there were polar bears and gummy bears. Personally, I had imagined Yogi. The point, Zaloom said, is that in a sexual situation, you can’t make assumptions.

I think about those bears every time yet another allegation of sexual misconduct against yet another powerful man becomes public. Nearly all

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times10 min read
It's a New Morning for Jennifer Aniston
Fifteen years after “Friends,” she is returning to TV in Apple’s “The Morning Show” as a news anchor dealing with ageism, sexism and her co-host’s misconduct.
The New York Times3 min read
Bieber Says Childhood Fame Opened Door to Using 'Heavy Drugs'
Justin Bieber was discovered at age 13. Within a couple of years, he was a pop superstar and had begun amassing millions of dollars and fans. That kind of fame at such a young age was perilous and led him to make “terrible decisions,” he said Monday
The New York Times5 min readPsychology
The Awkward but Essential Art of Office Chitchat
We regret to inform you that you need to make small talk with your co-workers. Here’s how to master it.