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Are Lefties Left Out?

Posted by on Aug. 13, 2014 at 11:33 AM
  • 8 Replies


A Handful of Scientific Facts About Lefties

By LIZ NEPORENT2 hours ago Good Morning America
A Handful of Scientific Facts About Lefties
A Handful of Scientific Facts About Lefties (ABC News)

Today is International Left-Handers Day. On the one hand, let's celebrate the 10 percent or so of the population that favor their left hands for important tasks. On the other hand, this is the perfect time to toss out five little-known scientific facts about lefties.

Lefties can throw a punch

When researchers at the University of Montpellier in France surveyed nine primitive societies in five separate continents, they found a higher percentage of lefties translated into more frequent violent encounters. Furthermore, lefties often had the upper hand in a fight because of the element of surprise. No one expects a punch to come out of left field.

This same sneak attack seems to cross over into a sports advantage, the researchers speculated, especially in sports like boxing, tennis and fencing where opponents go head-to-head.

Animals have a paw preference, too

One British study, among others, found that about 40 percent of cats are southpaws, with an additional 10 percent happy to swat a ball of yarn with either paw. Another Brit study found paw preference in dogs is split about evenly.

It seems Fido takes sides with his tail, too. Last year, an Italian study suggested that when dogs wag their tails from right to left, it signifies happiness. Wagging from left to right demonstrates displeasure.

We love leftie leaders

The fact that five of our last seven commanders in chief have been lefties is probably a coincidence. However, as one recent Dutch investigation suggested, right-handed politicians may want to fake it to the left.

Left-handed people tend to raise their left hands when speaking about something good whereas right handers tend to raise their right hand. But in televised debates, when a person raises his or her right hand, it will appear on a viewer's left, just as if the person was sitting in a chair in front of them. For this reason, viewers subconsciously interpret left-hand movements as good and right-hand movements as bad.

Lefties use their brains differently

Lefties may use their noggins slightly differently from righties, the research suggests. For example, one Australian study found left-handed people access both hemispheres of their brain more readily than right-handed people, who tend to be left hemisphere-dominant.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using the brain with a more even distribution. Some studies find lefties to be more creative and more resilient when recovering from strokes. However, other studies imply lefties are more susceptible to ADHD, schizophrenia and other mental disorders.

Lefties are often left out

Scissors and computer mice were designed without a second thought for lefties. That's inconvenient. But leaving left handed people out of the equation in scientific research may have far-reaching consequences, Dutch scientists have said.

Writing in the journal Nature earlier this year, the scientists pointed out that left-handed people have different brains and genes from right-handed people, yet are rarely included as study subjects. As a result, we may be missing out on important information in everything from neuroscience to genetic disorders, the scientists said.

Are you left-handed or have a child who is? What are the problems faced by being left-handed?
by on Aug. 13, 2014 at 11:33 AM
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by on Aug. 13, 2014 at 11:35 AM
No but I'm ambidextrous
by Bronze Member on Aug. 13, 2014 at 12:40 PM
I'm a leftie, I can find left handed scissors easily, and right handed scissors convert. I've faced no problems as a leftie. The only thing I've observed is that other lefties hold their pens and pencils incorrectly and write upside down.

People who were left handed in the olden days were forced to convert to right handed was because being a leftie was sign that "you" were possessed by Satan.
by on Aug. 13, 2014 at 12:59 PM
I am. I made due. The have left handed or ambidextrous scissors, they USED to have spiral notebooks with the spiral at the top ( LOVED THEM!) when they went away, I started at the back of my spiraled notebooks which the teachers assimilated to easily.

The most difficult part is no one has yet to come up with a comfortable way to teach a lefty to write. It's either some wierd " write the letter above it's and get a
Carpal Tunnel by high school or i( in my case) just learn to deal with the page if pencil / pen smudge across your paper and a glisten on the side if your hand :-)

I learned ( before computers and printers) that writing ING marker on a poster could become MUCH neater if I taped medical gauze to the side if my hand. It soaked up the extra ink so I didn't smear on the poster and I didn 't scrub my hand for half an hour.

I WILL say this. No matter how long I've been using a steak knife, I always always always turn it dull side down first so my thumb fits in the notch , only to roll my eyes as I switch hands or turn it over so it's useful! :-)
by Silver Member on Aug. 13, 2014 at 10:05 PM

 My son and step-daughter are both left handed and have  figured out how to deal with it. Both are slightly ambidextrous.

by on Aug. 14, 2014 at 1:53 AM

we are not left handed. Jordan sometimes seems like he likes his left hand but he is right handed dominant.

by Silver Member on Aug. 14, 2014 at 3:13 AM

My nephew is left handed.  He often bumps elbows if he sits next to a right hand person with his left arm.  Besides that he can adapt.

by Bronze Member on Aug. 14, 2014 at 9:41 AM

My son is left-handed. I think right now it's most difficult in things like sports. He loves to play basketball, for example, but none of the coaches shoot left-handed. It's just challenging to learn a new skill in reverse.

by Silver Member on Aug. 14, 2014 at 10:19 AM

I am not and none of my kids are

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