Are you a lefty or a righty? No matter what your answer is, it will certainly be given with a lot of confidence because we are talking about something that feels very natural to you. It feels as natural as doing most of your daily routine with the other hand may feel unnatural. But have you even wondered what determines the use of one hand over the other?
Left-handed people use their left hand for most of their daily tasks. In many cultures, being a left-handed person used to be regarded as being generally clumsy. The word “lefty” can even have this negative meaning in many languages. Even so, lefties make for good sportsmen, great artists, most US presidents, and they even get their own day on August 13th. Roughly one person in ten is left handed meaning that 10% of the Earth’s population is left handed. Also, studies have shown that there are more left-handed men than women.
It is said that since our brain’s hemispheres are crossed (the right side of the brain controls the left part of the body and the left side of the brain controls the right side), lefties are more prone to having the characteristics dictated by the right side of the brain. This means that they should be more creative, more intuitive, better at expressing their feelings, better at visualization and 3D perception. Also, the dominance of the right side of the brain and a prevalence of emotional intellect could make lefties more susceptible to a wider range of emotions, meaning that they live more intensely. Studies regarding the dominance of the right brain and these characteristics of left-handed people are not yet conclusive in all aspects.
Right-handed people make up the majority or 90% of the entire human population. They are said to be left-brained, meaning that they will have higher abilities in mathematics, logical thinking and organizing, memorizing, computing and technical information processing, discovering patterns and applying them. The world is built around right handed dominance. Even the expression of “being one’s right hand” is illustrative in this respect. In terms of religion, Christianity is most biased in this respect as the sign of the cross can only be made with the right hand and the right hand alone can be placed on the Bible when being sworn in.
Apart from the fact that they each use a different dominant hand, we can say the deduced differences can be those resulting from the use of the corresponding brain hemisphere. We say that left-handed people are more creative, more emotional and better at sports than right-handed people are. In the case of the latter, it is mainly because left-handed people compete against right-handed people more often, which makes for great exercise. They can also switch hands during the game, which can put off the opponent.
Left-handed people have a tough life living in a world designed for the 90% of right-handed people. This means that most items, tools and gadgets are created for right handed users. However, there are industries which take notice of their left-handed customers and make special items for them, guitars and watches, for example.
Not so long ago teachers in school considered left-handedness a handicap and would try to correct it. But the years have shown that forcing left-handed children to use their right hand has traumatic long-term effects such as poor concentration, bad memory, physical tiredness, bad handwriting, stuttering, nail-biting, etc. All this was due to coercion which disregarded the natural cross-wiring of the brain and a situation in which the child did not feel natural and at ease.
|Left-handed people||Right handed people|
|Use their left hand as a dominant hand||Use their right hand as a dominant hand|
|Make up 10% of the Earth’s population||Make up 90% of the Earth’s population|
|The right hemisphere of the brain is dominant||The left hemisphere of the brain is dominant|
|Should not be forced to use the other hand||Should not be forced to use the other hand|
|There are special items created for left-handed people||Most items are created for right-handed people|