The internet is flooded with articles and posts about left-handed people. Some of them seem to have been disproved over time, and others lack substantial credibility. The following list has been compiled after taking into account not one, not two, but at least five different sources for each fact before we would include it here. So, go ahead and revel in the uniqueness of our beloved southpaws.
1. Ten percent of the world’s population is left-handed, and left-handedness is somewhat more common in men than in women.
Just 10% of the entire world’s population is composed of left-handed people. Professor Daniel M. Abrams and graduate student Mark J. Panaggio at Northwestern University created a model that shows the low percentage of lefties is due to the balance between cooperation and competition in human evolution.
When it comes to cooperation, the more social the animal in species where cooperation is highly valued, the more the general population will trend toward one side. In the case of humans, this resulted in a majority of right-handed people. On the other hand, competition does the complete opposite and resulted in 10% of the people turning lefties.(source)
2. The genes inherited by people account for just 25% of the chance of being left-handed, a study found.
The chance of being a left-handed through inherited genes is just 25%. This is also observed in the fact that even twins who have 100% identical genes do not necessarily share handedness. The Queensland Institute of Medical Research, after conducting a study on more than 50,000 identical twins in 2009, discovered that the inherited genes only account for a 25% chances of being a left-handed person. The other 75% is attributed to environmental factors.(source)
3. Every year, more than 2,500 left-handed people are killed around the world from using equipment that is meant for right-handed people. The right-handed power saw is the most deadly item.
Statistically, one person in 4,400,000 is killed every year from using equipment which is meant for right-handed people, and this accounts for more than 2,500 deaths of left-handed people every year. In terms of numbers, 10.3% of left-handed people (both males and females) suffer an injury while driving a vehicle, and 31.6% of left-handed people (both males and females) get injured in sports.
4. According to various studies, premature babies have a high possibility of becoming lefties.
Babies of premature birth, especially the ones who weigh a pound or less at birth, have a high probability of being left-handed. A team of doctors in Australia and Boston, after conducting a study on 115 babies that were being treated in a neonatal intensive care unit, found that 54% of the extreme preemies were left-handed. There are two reasons or theories that have been postulated to explain these anomalies.
One is that due to the extremely early birth, left-handedness is caused by slight brain damage due to the premature birth. The second reason or theory states that preemies do not complete the full brain development process that would result in most of them being right-handed. The shortened brain development theory is further fueled by articles in the journal Lancet published by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and the University of Queensland in Australia.(source)
5. There are more left-handed people with IQs over 140 than right-handed people, a study found.
Left-handed people with IQs more than 140 are greater in number than among right-handed people. This was concluded after tests were conducted by St. Lawrence University, New York. Some noteworthy intellectuals that were left-handed include Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Issac Newton, and Benjamin Franklin. Quite interestingly, one of every four Astronauts in Apollo Missions were left-handed.(source)
6. It has been found that 40% of schizophrenics are surprisingly left-handed.
Dr. Jadon Webb, M.D., Ph.D., and a Fellow at Yale University, examined 107 psychiatric patients at a public clinic and found that 40% of the patients were suffering from schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Dr. Webb chose left-handedness as a convenient way to measure lateralization or how symmetrical the two sides of a person’s brain are. He asked patients about their preferred hand while writing and got a 97% left hand response rate.(source)
7. Whether it’s computer games or sports, lefties process things faster than right-handed people.
Research conducted by Dr. Nick Cherbuin at the Australian National University identified southpaws to be better equipped while dealing with multi-tasks like talking while driving, piloting jet fighters, and playing fast-paced video games. This has been linked to the conversations between the left and right sides of the brain happening more quickly in left-handed people when compared with their right-handed peers.(source)
8. A Harvard study that was conducted in 2014 indicates that the average salary of lefties is nine to 19 percent lower than for right-handed people.
Joshua Goodman, an economist with the Harvard Kennedy School, conducted a study in which he analyzed data from US and UK databases to find out if there was a connection between a person’s dominant hand and their test scores and income. It was observed that lefties score lower than righties on cognitive tests, and are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems. Besides this, southpaws tend to suffer from learning disabilities at a higher rate and complete less schooling. All of these factors lead to a salary that is nine to 19 percent lower than their right-handed peers.(source)
9. Left-handed people are affected by fear far more than those who are right-handed.
Dr. Carolyn Choudhary at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh led research in which an eight-minute clip from a scary movie called Silence of the Lambs was shown to both the left-handed and right-handed people. After being asked to recall the events from the film clip, the psychologists observed that left-handed volunteers gave more fragmented accounts which were filled with more repetition than their right-handed counterparts. This behavior is common in people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.(source)
10. Contrary to popular belief, lefties aren’t more creative than right-handed people.
Dispelling the popular belief that left-handed people are more creative than right-handed people, Professor Mike Nicholls from Adelaide’s Flinders University – who is himself left-handed – after studying 5,000 five-year-olds and examining their performance at school and their feedback from teachers, concluded that “Left-handers tend to do worse as a group than right-handers.” According to him, reduced cognitive ability of lefties was small but similar to the “negative outcomes” of being born prematurely.(source)
11. Left-handed people tend to have a significantly bad temper than right-handed people. This is due to an increased interaction between the two halves of the brain.
A study conducted by Ruth Propper, a psychology professor at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, found that lefties have a much harder time in controlling their anger since the halves in the brain are more interlinked. This study was published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. What this interlinking results in is that logic (mostly left brain) and emotions (mostly right brain) get mixed together often resulting in situations of bad temper.(source)
12. Homosexuals are 39% more likely to be left-handed.
As per a research conducted by authors Lalumière ML, Blanchard R, and Zucker KJ at Law and Mental Health Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a meta-analysis of 20 studies that compared the rates of non-right-handedness in 6,987 homosexual (6,182 men and 805 women) and 16,423 heterosexual (14,808 men and 1,615 women) participants was studied. With the help of this study, it was identified that homosexuals have a 39% higher chance of being left-handed. The corresponding values for homosexual men (20 contrasts) and women (9 contrasts) were 34% and 91%, respectively.
The authors assume that the three factors responsible for the relationship between handedness and sexual orientation are cerebral laterality and prenatal exposure to sex hormones, maternal immunological reactions to the fetus, and developmental instability.(source)
13. When it comes to sports, left-handed athletes have an advantage over their opponents.
Left-handed people have an element of surprise to their game according to a study conducted by co-author Mark Panaggio. In sports like boxing, fencing, and table tennis, lefties have a knack of bringing an element of surprise since left-handers have a slight boost in their skill ability just due to inherently being left-handed. Panaggio explains that in a situation involving a left-hander facing a right-hander, the left-hander would have spent the majority of his time competing against right-handed individuals because they are more common, whereas the right-hander would have had very little experience against left-handers.(source)
14. Every August 13th has been celebrated as “Left-Handers Day” since 1996.
Lefthanders International first started with the International Lefthanders Day on the 13th of August, 1996. Its main aim is to promote awareness about the advantages and disadvantages of being a left-handed person in a world dominated by right-handed people. This event also marks the celebration of their uniqueness since lefties make up only about seven to 10% of the world’s population. In the United Kingdom, there have been over 20 events that mark this celebration. These events include celebrating a left-hander’s creativity, adaptability, and athleticism.(source)
15. Some of the most noteworthy southpaws in history include Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Leonardo Da Vinci.
Throughout the course of history, southpaws have left an indelible mark. Some of the most famous left-handed people include Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Babe Ruth, Napoleon Bonaparte, Leonardo Da Vinci, Marie Curie, Aristotle, Ned Flanders, and Jimi Hendrix.(source)