Facts and Myths
- Most males are left-handed.
- Contrary to popular belief, lefties are loyal spouses. "Hindi mangangaliwa ang kaliwete."
- Most identical twins and several groups of neurologically disordered individuals are left-handed.
- Statistically, the identical twin of a left-handed person has a 76 percent chance of being left-handed, identifying the cause as partly genetic and partly environmental.
- In 2007, researchers discovered LRRTM1, the first gene linked to increased odds of being left-handed. The researchers also claim that possessing this gene slightly raises the risk of psychotic mental illnesses.
- People with long-term impairment of the right hand are more likely to become left-handed, even after their right hand heals.
- Exposure to higher rates of testosterone before birth can lead to a left-handed child.
- Ultrasound scans may affect the brain of unborn children, causing higher rates of left-handedness in mothers who have ultrasound scans compared to those who do not.
- The left hand symbolized the power to shame society, and was used as a metaphor for misforture, natural evil, or punishment from the gods.
- Etymologically speaking, the left hand is associated with the word "sinister".
- In sports term, lefties are called "southpaws."


Biases and Prejudices
- Left-handed people are sometimes placed at a disadvantage by the prevalence of right handed tools in society. Many tools and devices are designed to be comfortably used with the right hand. For example, (right-handed) scissors, a very common tool, are arranged so that the line being cut along can be seen by a right-handed user, but is obscured to a left-handed user. Furthermore, the handles are often molded in a way that is difficult for a left-hander to hold, and extensive use in such cases can lead to varying levels of discomfort. Most importantly, the scissoring or shearing action - how the blades work together (how they are attached at the pivot) - operates correctly for a right-hander, but a left-hander will tend to force the blades apart rather than shearing the target substance. (This is especially awkward if the scissors are loose and/or blunt.) Left-handed scissors do exist; until they have tried cutting with some, many right-handed people do not believe the difficulties experienced by left-handers using right-handed scissors.
- The computer mouse is sometimes made to fit the right hand better. Many computer installations have the mouse placed on the right side, making it awkward for left handers to use without moving the mouse to the other side of the keyboard. Some mouse drivers and operating systems allow the user to reconfigure the mouse buttons to reverse their functions. However, being left-handed does not always mean the person uses the mouse on a computer with the left hand; many left-handers can use the mouse right-handed because they learned it that way from the start. Some lefties have claimed that this gives them an advantage because they can use the mouse with their non-dominant hand, leaving their left to do tasks such as taking notes uninterrupted.
- The lack of left-handed tools and machines in many workplaces is not only a nuisance to many left-handers, but has actually placed them at peril. One example is the band saw, whose standard design is convenient for right-handers but encourages left-handers to pass their arms dangerously close to the cutting blade with every pass of the saw.
- It can be difficult for left-handed children to learn to write if the teacher does not take the student's left-handedness into account. In fact, even in the later 20C, some UK schools were discouraging children to write with their left-hand, often seriously effecting the child's development.
- Left-handed people who speak Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Hebrew or any other right to left language, do not have the same difficulties with writing. The right to left nature of these languages prevents left-handers from running their hand on the ink as happens with left to right languages.
- The vast majority of firearms are designed for right-handed shooters, with the operating handle, magazine release, and/or safety mechanisms set up for manipulation by the right hand, and fired cartridge cases ejected to the right. Also, scopes and sights may be mounted in such a way as to require the shooter to place the rifle against his or her right shoulder.
- Left-handers suffered severe prejudice during the 18th and 19th centuries and it was often "beaten out" of people.
- In adulthood, left-handers were often shunned by society, resulting in fewer marrying and reproducing.
- As prejudice declined in the 20th century, the number of natural left-handers who stayed left-handed increased.
- The rising age of motherhood contributed as, statistically, older mothers are more likely to give birth to left-handed children.
- Using the left hand in polo and jai alai is strictly prohibited.
- Playing field hockey is disadvantageous for lefties.
- Lefties have considerable advantage over right-handed fencers.
- Baseball is particularly suited to left-handed players.


Left-Handedness & Achievement
- Chris McManus of University College London, argues that the proportion of left-handers is rising and left-handed people as a group have historically produced an above-average quota of high achievers. He says that left-handers' brains are structured differently in a way that widens their range of abilities, and the genes that determine left-handedness also govern development of the language centers of the brain.
- Researchers at Lafayette College and Johns Hopkins University in a study found that left-handed men are 15 percent richer than right-handed men for those who attended college, and 26 percent richer if they graduated. The wage difference is still unexplainable and does not appear to apply to women.
- In music, guitar great Jimi Hendrix was left-handed. He played his restrung Fender Stratocaster upside down to accommodate his handedness. Paul McCartney of The Beatles is left-handed as well; when he first played for John Lennon, he played Lennon's right-handed guitar upside-down. Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain was also a well known left handed guitarist.

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{picture#https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AgIZYN7u_Hg/VZvLmrA0hpI/AAAAAAAARt8/mscbLJ1All4/profile%2Bpic.jpg} JP Canonigo is a historian, professional blogger and copywriter, online content specialist, copywriter, video game junkie, sports fanatic and jack-of-all trades. {facebook#http://www.facebook.com/istoryadista} {twitter#http://www.twitter.com/jpthehistorian} {google#http://plus.google.com/+JPSakuragi}
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