GRE Argument Essay 27

A new report suggests that men and women experience pain very differently from one another, and that doctors should consider these differences when prescribing pain medications. When researchers administered the same dosage of kappa opioids – a painkiller – to 28 men and 20 women who were having their wisdom teeth extracted, the women reported feeling much less pain than the men, and the easing of pain lasted considerably longer in women. This research suggests that kappa opioids should be prescribed for women whenever pain medication is required, whereas men should be given other kinds of pain medication. In addition, researchers should reevaluate the effects of all medications on men versus women.

The given argument is based on a report that has suggested that there is a difference in the degree of pain experienced by men and women and therefore, these differences should be considered while administering pain killers. The said report included a study of the reaction of men and women to the painkiller, kappa opioids. The report has presented the statistics that out of 28 men and 20 women who were having their wisdom teeth extracted the women reported that they felt less pain as compared to the men when they were administered kappa opioids prior to the extraction. Based on the inference derived from this report, the arguer has concluded that kappa opioids should be prescribed for women whenever the need for administering a pain killer is required; whereas men should be given other kinds of pain reducing medication. Despite the suggestions made by the report, the conclusion drawn by the arguer is unconvincing as the argument is not well-reasoned due to the presence of various logical fallacies.

The main logical flaw in the argument is that both the conduct and the conclusion of the research are questionable. The report states that 48 people were studied for their reaction to the drug kappa opioids. 48 people are too less to represent the entire humanity. Relating the reaction of 20 women to what all the women in the world would report in a similar condition is entirely unreliable. The reaction of these 20 women to the drug kappa opioids cannot be termed as a yardstick for how the women of the entire world would react. Women across the world live in different climatic conditions and follow different lifestyles. There is no mention of whether these 20 women consisted of women from across the world or whether they were confined to a single country. In either case, their reaction to a drug administered before tooth extraction does not determine how they would react to the same drug when it is administered for other purposes like some major surgery.

Another lacuna in the statistics of the research work is that the researchers have ignored other possibilities that may have been responsible for a lesser degree of pain for the women. Age is an important factor that determines the way in which you react to certain drugs. Moreover, your capacity to bear pain is more when you are young. There is no mention of the ages of the men and women who were a part of this study. It is possible that a majority of the women were younger than the men who were a part of the study. Their age would have played an important role in reacting to the pain killer and the easing of the pain. Even if the men and women were from the same age group, it is possible that a higher percentage of these 20 women had higher pain endurance as compared to the 28 men. Moreover, there is a strong possibility that the extraction process for the women was not that painful because their wisdom teeth may not have been impacted to an extent so as to cause great pain.

Lastly, the conclusion that men should be administered another pain killer altogether is highly unconvincing. The argument does not discuss the effectiveness of kappa opioids as compared to other pain killers. Therefore, the assumption that there are other pain killers which would be better for men is grossly unreliable. Therefore, the effectiveness of kappa opioids for men and women cannot be compared due to lack of strong evidence that could have proved that there were no other reasons due to which the women could have experienced lesser pain than the men who participated in the study.