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10 Fun Facts About Left-Handers

Wong Shu Lee  

|

  August 13, 2022

International Left-Handers Day is an international day observed annually on August 13 to celebrate the uniqueness and differences of left-handed individuals. 

 

Majority of the world is right-handed, thus it’s often hard for most people to understand the challenges of being a lefty in a righty’s world. 

 

Many believe that left-handed people lean more towards the independent side as they have had to learn to cope in a world predominantly designed and built for right-handed people. While lefties may need to learn to adjust with right-handed instruments or wrestle with the scissors made for righties, there are still many cool facts about lefties that people are unaware of. 

 

More Often are Male

 

Men make up for 23% more than women in the left-handed population, according to a study conducted in 2008. The study consisted of around 144 studies with a sample participant size of about two million people.

 

Faster Recovery from Strokes

 

Our language gets affected when strokes occur in the left side of the brain. Around 95% of righties have their language controlled by the left side of their brain, while only 70% of lefties have theirs controlled by the left side. This is why more of those who have recovered control over their language after a stroke are lefties.

 

An Advantage in Typing

 

We tend to use both hands while typing, but it has been found that around 300 words are typed mainly with the right hand, whereas about 3000 words are mainly typed with the left on a QWERTY keyboard.

 

More Intelligent Than Right

 

Lefties have heterogeneous brain organization, where they can process verbal information using both sides of the brain. At the same time, righties have a more organized brain division, where the right hemisphere takes care of visuospatial processing, and the left hemisphere handles the verbal processing. Since lefties can process oral information on both sides of the brain, they can process larger amounts of data and have higher intelligence levels than righties.

 

More Artistic

 

Lefties are more artistic as their dominant hemisphere controls the awareness of art, creativity, and imagination. They are also more partial to visual information over language-based.

 

Forced to be Right

 

Across various cultures, many children born with a natural preference towards their left sides were forced to eat and write with their right hands. Although this stopped in the 20th century, it continues in some parts of the world. 

 

Handedness Determined in the Womb

 

A fetus starts to move its arms in the womb at around the nine to the ten-week mark. By the time the pregnancy reaches the second trimester, babies already show a preference on which thumb they would rather suck on, the right or left. This makes some believe that handedness is something that is determined before birth. However, children have also been seen to switch their dominant hands until the age of two years, sometimes three, so it is never guaranteed that a child will be left-handed or right-handed based on their actions in the womb.

 

Language is Unkind to Lefties

 

People view lefties as unfavorable, but it is seen in some ways through language as well. “Gauche,” in French, means “clumsy” and “left.” The word “sinister” is derived from the Latin word for “left,” and the English word “left” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word for “weak,” which is “lyft.”

 

Better at Driving

 

A study has found that left-handed people are better drivers than righties. They found that lefties are involved in far fewer accidents than righties. Besides, lefties are better at GPS too as a study found that they were less likely to make mistakes in a spatial orientation test.

 

Better Self-Control

 

Lefties are believed to have better self-control than righties, as it was found in a study that lefties possess better inhibitory control than their right-handed peers.

 

There is no doubt that lefties face many more challenges in their daily lives than a righty could ever hope to understand. However, lefties have also proven that they can adjust to difficult situations better than righties and have the ability to achieve great things.

 

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