This is the million dollar question, Why Are People Left Handed?
Did you know that it is believed that only 10% of the human population is Left Handed? Let’s make this even more simple.
If you were in a room of 1,000 people, only 100 of them could potentially be left handed, based on odds which translates into 900 of those people being right handed. How come it isn’t an equal amount? Some left handed people insist that they were given a gift at birth. Others believe it is mostly genetics which is the most accurate explanation. For instance, I am left handed, and I also have 2 Aunts who are left handed. Assuming there are 20 people in my entire family, that would equate to only 3 people being left handed, and 17 being righties.
Why Are People Left Handed?
Handedness is a human attribute defined by unequal distribution of fine motor skills between the left and right hands. An individual who is more able with the right hand is called right-handed and one who is more skilled with the left is said to be left-handed. The majority of infants have developed hand preference by 6 months of age. -[source]
Back in the day, being left handed was severely frowned upon and they would force us lefties to be righties. How crazy would it have been to live in a world that would make you convert what felt normal, to the exact opposite? Now no reason is proven for the cause of such a phenomenon, but there have been multiple theories proposed to give us a scientific specification.
Some theories conclude it to be:
- Prenatal Hormonal Imbalances
- Lefties are the chosen ones
- Early exposure to ultrasounds
- Could have started as a Twin
Each and everyone of these theories could hold some truth but my best guess would be Genetics.
Why Left Handed People Are Different
Left Handed people live in a right handed person’s world. We struggle with simple everyday tasks that a right handed person has no issues with. I’m going to go over some common issues I have on a daily basis since I am a true southpaw.
Left-Handed Daily Issues:
- I am unable to drive a stick shift, you know, a manual transmission car, in the United States. Now this is a stretch, I am a bit ambidextrous, but it would take me some serious time and learning to get my right hand to control an object fluently. Now perhaps if I lived in a country that drives on the opposite side of the road, I could get a 6-speed.
- I have the hardest time writing on a dry erase board. If I don’t hold the marker in the air, my entire hand will smudge everything I write, practically erasing my words as fast as I’m writing them. Also, same deal goes for writing anything for that matter! A spiral notebook is near impossible to perfect when you are a lefty and I always have a huge ink smudge on the side of my hand when I’m done writing. Everything is designed Left to Right, not Left to Right and that makes us 10% of the population struggle.
- I can’t sit next to anyone who is Right Handed while I am eating. I will constantly bump elbows with whoever I sit next to, causing eatery chaos. I have to find the very end of the table and make sure no one is on my left side or else it could result in a problem.
- Common household items are geared towards righties. A prime example is a pair of scissors which I had to train my hand right to use.
- The mouse on a computer is typically positioned on the right side and that was extremely difficult at first to learn. Also, the number pad is not your friend. I’m usually stuck picking away at the top number bar on the keyboard. Luckily, I have been training myself to use the keypad on the right and I almost have it mastered.
Famous People That Are Left Handed
If you keep up with United States Politics, you will notice a majority of politicians and Presidents are left handed.
Of the seven most recent U.S. Presidents, four, including Barack Obama, have been left-handed, while a fifth is said to have been ambidextrous: Ronald Reagan, who was left-handed by birth, became president after he defeated left-handed candidate George H. W. Bush in the Republican primary election. Four years earlier, Reagan had lost the Republican presidential primary to incumbent left-handed President Gerald Ford.
George H. W. Bush succeeded Reagan and later ran for re-election against left-handers Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. Clinton’s second term opponents included Perot and Bob Dole, who had become left-handed when his right arm was paralyzed in combat 50 years earlier.
After Clinton’s term, his left-handed Vice President Al Gore lost to right-handed George W. Bush, who four years later prevailed over John Kerry and John Edwards, both left-handed.
Left-handed then-Senator Obama defeated left-handed Senator John McCain in his race for the presidency. Including the 2012 campaign, the last time the United States Presidential Election featured no left-handed candidate from a major political party was 1972. [source]
This brings up the question, are left handed people more prone to be successful than right handed people? It seems that left handed people have a good shot at becoming the President of the United States, I mean, I’m just stating the facts here.
Being Left Handed
I have to say being left handed is something I am very proud of and if you are left handed you should feel the same way. I always love spotting out someone else who is left handed and us lefties seem to all get along.
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