Left handed dominance makes up 10% of the world’s population. That means 700,000,000 or seven hundred million people are left handed. I am one of those ten percent and I get the same reaction every time when people notice that I’m left handed. “You’re left handed? That’s cool, I didn’t know that.” What am I supposed to say to that? Thanks? You’re welcome? You’re right handed? That’s so cool. (?) I like the attention, but I’m always confused why I get it. Have they never meet a left handed person? Even though we make 10%, that’s out of 7 billion, so no, I’m not the first person they met that was left handed. This reaction has always interested me, because people act is as if I’m super talented, and interesting because they only way I know how to write is with my left hand. My right hand is useless and I don’t fawn over righties, but being left hand domiant makes me an excotic butterfly. Why is being left handed so interesting?
To find our answer, we have to go a few years back. In the olden days, writing with your left hand was considered a sin. And in school, lefties were beat over the knuckles to summit obedience to right handedness. No I’m not joking. I once went to a pioneer school house in Oregon and one of the classroom rules was, Write with your right hand. That made me very mad, being a lefty and all. I suspect strict christian school ma’ams behind it. According to the Left Handers Day Club, “Christianity is strongly based towards the right hand. It is the right hand that gives the blessing and make the sign of the cross. On one count, the bible contains over 100 favourable reference to the right-hand and 25 unfavourable references to the left-hand. E.g.” Now, this is all speculation. I don’t pretend to know the real reason people have or had any issues with left-handers. But really, a beating just because someone write with the left hand? Grow up already.
Maybe the most widely know lefty superstition is more lefties than righties are artist, musicians and abstract thinkers. This is thought to be the cause of right brain dominance. (Left, right? Make up your mind already!) Psychology Today says, “The right hemisphere is associated with cognitive skills, such as creativity, emotion and intuitiveness. It also controls the left side of the body, so right-brained people are often left-handed. Right-brain dominant people are characterized as artistic, innovative and often random” Everyone uses their right brain and their left brain, so if you are left handed or right, this doesn’t at all mean that you’re not creative or logical, everyone is different. This just mean that’s out of the major population, there is a little bit more lefties in the creative arts. But considering that lefties make up 10% of the population, that’s kind of weird.
When researching my topic, I found some facts that I never knew would have anything to do with my left hand. According to Everyday Health, lefties have a higher risk of psychosis. [Apparently] “people with psychosis had a 20 percent likelihood of being left-handed, though a small study in the journal SAGE found the rate of psychotic lefties may be even higher. People with psychosis, such as those with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, the rate of left-handedness was 40 percent, well above average. Researchers theorize brain laterality plays a role.” What?! Does that mean I might go crazy one day. I have no idea. Well, I guess one day I might, I might have many ideas, all coming from different voices. (Did you hear that sound? No?)
Anyway, on to more sane topics. I did say some facts, not one, didn’t I? Well, something else that though me for a loop was research conducted by Dr. Carolyn Choudhary of Queen Margaret University. Dr. Chourdhary led a test where she and some other sciences asked volunteers to watch a clip of the climax of the popular thriller, Silence of the Lambs. “We used a portion of the film….that we know elicits fear, so we could check the recalled account against [it]. People who were left-handed showed significantly more fragmentation in their memories and more repetition….The mistakes they made were subtle errors in verbal recall. According to Dr. Chourdhary, “[T]he two sides of the brain have different roles in PTSD and the right-hand-side of the brain seems to be involved in fear. In people who are left-handed, the right-hand side of their brain is dominant, so it may have something to do with that. We need to do more experiments to understand what exactly is going on here.” From personal experience, I can tell you I am way more of a scaredy-cat than my right-handed family members. I’ve run out the room during countless FHEs. My highlights are Inspector Gadget, The Princess Bride and Night at the Museum. (I was in elementary school if that makes it any less lame.) I don’t know, I just might be a chicken.
One thing that isn’t a myth or a speculation is lefties aren’t going anywhere. Of all the articles I’ve read, they have different statistics, and different explanations, but they all agree that we may be small but we are mighty. Left-handed dominance is a phenomenon n no one can really explain, but scientists agree that they aren’t disappearing. We have been roughly the same percentage since the cavemen. I guess we aren’t growing either. We just are here and we’re here to stay. So maybe the next time you notice someone if left-handed or someone notices you are, tell them these facts. They don’t really do or mean anything so far, but they sure are interesting.