Are you left-handed? If you are, here’s some good news for you: according to science, you are exceptional!
The intricacies behind left-handedness remain somewhat mysterious to scientists, as explained by Ronald Yeo, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Texas-Austin. Yeo clarifies that while genes contribute to around 25% of left-handed cases, the hereditary aspect of this phenomenon is not as pronounced as that of other traits such as height or intelligence.
An interesting observation is that even identical twins, who possess the same genetic makeup, can exhibit different dominant hands.
If you look back on history, you will find that left-handedness was viewed as a weakness that needed to be worked on. Back in the day, left-handed students were forced to write with their right hands to “correct” this “problem.”
Two decades ago, there were even studies suggesting that left-handed people die earlier and were more prone to accidents.
To be honest, though, this isn’t the lefties’ fault; it’s just difficult to live in a world built for right-handed folks. Take, for example, doors, can openers, and scissors – these everyday items are made for the right hand.
But don’t fret! Turns out, there are some serious perks to being a leftie. Read on for some delightful facts about left-handedness.
Although there isn’t a definitive answer to why left-handed people exist, there’s a theory saying that it could be inherited from the mother’s side of the family.
Another speculation is that if testosterone levels in the womb are higher, there is a greater chance that the baby will be left-handed. Other research has found that twins are twice as likely to have dominant left hands.
More interestingly, doctors can tell if a baby is going to be left-handed through an ultrasound. Since 90% of babies move their right arm or suck on their right thumb in the womb, it’s pretty easy to identify who will become lefties.
Lefties are also more likely to be skilled in sports. In fact, about 25% of MLB players have dominant left hands.
Besides baseball, left-handed people also have an advantage in interactive sports like tennis, badminton, and boxing. Left-handed athletes move differently, and their right-handed opponents tend to be thrown off by these because they’re unsure how to react.
Left-handers are also believed to be excellent problem solvers. Scientists say that lefties are better at coming up with out-of-the-box solutions to a problem. Because of this ability, they are also most likely to pursue careers related to art, science, and technology.
Famous left-handers who have made names for themselves in those fields include Marie Curie, Bob Dylan, Pablo Picasso, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Paul McCartney, Bill Gates, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, and Angelina Jolie. It’s an impressive lineup indeed!
Although this one is quite inconclusive, lefties are said to be better thinkers. However, knowing that Albert Einstein, former President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Neil Armstrong are all left-handed makes us think this theory might be accurate.
Also, left-handers make up 20% of MENSA, the world’s oldest and largest society of people with high IQs.
Research also suggests that left-handed men are likely to earn more because of their ability to process information quickly. According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the earning power of highly-educated left-handed men was 15% higher than that of their right-handed peers.
Lastly, there’s a also consensus among handedness experts that left-handed individuals hold a distinct advantage (pun intended) when it comes to one-on-one sports like tennis, boxing, and pitching a baseball. In his book “The Puzzle of Left-Handedness,” linguist Rik Smits offers insights into how athletes, regardless of their handedness, often train against opponents who are right-handed.
This training dynamic places lefties in a favorable position to adapt when confronted with a right-handed opponent. However, the scenario is less advantageous for right-handed athletes, who find themselves at a twofold disadvantage.
They’re compelled to engage in an asymmetrical contest for which they’re inadequately prepared, pitted against an adversary who excels in managing this very type of asymmetry, as articulated by Smits.
Do you know any left-handed people, or are you left-handed yourself? Let us know your thoughts about the points described above, and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!
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