I believe that there are many reasons that people may feel uncomfortable discussing sensitive topics, and that for each person those reasons are different.
I find myself having trouble discussing issues related to sexual orientation, and also abortion. I have trouble with these issues because I am not sure what the right decision is, and I do not feel comfortable claiming to have an answer. I am afraid of making people angry, and also that I do not have enough information to make a judgment on the subject.
There are many ways that supervisors and educators can help ease the trouble of talking about difficult subjects. One of the most important ways to help is to first create a vocabulary that is not offensive to either side of the discussion. That way, people know what terms are being deemed "politically correct" by both sides, and do not have to worry about being caught up in semantics. It is also important to make sure that everyone has a chance to be involved in the conversation. If some students are shy, allow questions or comments to be emailed or put in a box, so they can discuss the ideas without feeling embarrassed to ask questions. ...Show more