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Dumbfounding Facts About Left-handedness

Facts about Left-handedness
Did you know for the fact that a study by Dr. Alan Searleman of St. Lawrence University in New York found that there are more left-handers with an IQ over 140 than the right-handers? Here, we elucidate some facts about being a lefty, who are often misconstrued as 'negative'.
Bidisha Mukherjee
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Left handed doodling
In general, those people who have the tendency to use their left hand for their daily tasks are called left-handed. This is not a physical disability, but they use their left hand more because they feel comfortable using that.
It is estimated that almost 10-12% of the world population is left-handed. Research studies have found that more number of men are left-handed as compared to women.
On August 13, 1976, a British organization known as Lefthanders International declared a special day for lefties, in order to spread awareness of the particular difficulties and strengths of left-handers, and we have been celebrating this special day for years now. In the past, people used to call left-handedness a stigma and a social evil.
There were times when they were even barred from the society as such. There have been several superstitions associated with left-handedness; for example: in medieval Europe, it was believed that it was the left hand that was used to harm or curse another person.
We shall now throw some light on the facts of being a left-handed person, that could possibly come as a relief to all the lefties of the world, who can also draw a lot of positives out of this information.
So far, there is no conclusive evidence that can suggest any specific reason behind left-handedness. In many cases, it has been found that left-handedness run in families. Therefore, the genetic factors cannot be ruled out.
Moreover, environmental factors like exposure of the fetus to high testosterone levels, birth trauma, and physical conditioning could also be responsible for this trait. Following are the various causes.
Although there is no one particular gene responsible for causing left-handedness, there is an opinion that it could be a plethora of genes that could combine to give rise to left-handedness.
As per surveys, it was determined that greater number of boys are left-handed as compared to the girls. So, researchers say that the male hormone testosterone may influence the possibility of a child being left-handed or right-handed.
Sometimes, children become left-handed by aping their parents or the close ones. However, it is not applicable to children whose parents are right-handed.
People sometimes tend to become left-handed because of necessity. For example, if a person is naturally right-handed, but due to some injury or accident, if his/her right hand gets damaged, then out of compulsion that person starts to cultivate the habit of using the left hand more often. This practice could enable them to become a lefty.
Development of Fetus
It is believed that the environmental factors in the womb during the time of the development of fetus, which also includes exposure to hormones, are the determining factors for the pathological right-handedness or the left-handedness of a child.
Birth Stress
According to researchers, there is a possibility that older women who are giving birth for the first time, could lead to a possible brain damage to the unborn child (due to stress during the time of birth), resulting in the child becoming a lefty pathologically.
Birth Weight
Some reports suggest that babies who are born prematurely and the ones with low birth weight have a greater possibility of being left-handed. This is because, babies with low weight are more prone to brain injury that may result in pathological left-handedness.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Left-handedness
Advantages and Disadvantages of Left-handedness
► Left-handed people could have a lesser risk of developing arthritis.

► They may have very good visual and imaginary skills.

► They may possibly be more intelligent as compared to their right-handed peers.

► Some surveys suggest that, more number of artists, musicians and all those in creative fields are predominantly lefties.

► There is a possibility that, left-handed persons could recover faster from heart strokes than the righties.

► They have a better advantage in the field of sports.
► They may not be as good in phonology (the sound system of languages) tasks, as their right-handed counterparts.

► Their writing could lead to smudginess while writing the left-to-right languages. However, they fare pretty well with right-to-left languages like the Hebrew and Arabic.

► They may have shorter adult height and lower weight.

► Left-handed women may experience puberty at a later stage.

► Left-handedness may cause shorter life expectancy.
► They may have an increased risk of some neurological and immunological disorders.

► Lefties may face a problem with handshakes, as we traditionally use the right hand for handshakes.
Interesting Facts
► Left-handedness is more common among twins. It is often found that one among the twins is going to be left-handed, and the other one will be right-handed.

► While drawing figures, most left-handers tend to draw the images, facing to the right.

► Dyslexia is likely to develop in a left-handed person, if he is forced to use his right hand instead of the left one.

► Those who are left-handed have a natural tendency to chew their food on the left side, and the right-handed people mostly use their right side.

► Lefties find it slightly difficult to buckle up the chin-strap of their bike helmet.

► Trousers with only one back pocket, are generally on the right side, thereby making it tedious for the lefties to use their wrong hand.

► One in four astronauts of the Apollo mission were left-handers.

► The British royal family consists of many lefties, which include the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, and Prince William.

► Every left-handed person among the Eskimos is considered to be a magician or a sorcerer.
With the passage of time, sanity has started to prevail among people, and being a lefty is no more considered an anomaly, curse or a stigma. So, if your child exhibits the qualities of left-handedness, do not get perturbed and force him to use his right hand. In fact, being lefty itself puts you into the elite club of greats, who in spite of this trait, went on to achieve greatness.