Understanding being left handed is a mystery for some researchers and doctors. Actually
understanding how our brains work could help us better adapt to the right
handed world. Take this article for what it's worth, but remember we are a very special breed. Amy Windsor wrote an
article titled, "Views On Being Left Handed Just Got More Complicated."
Lefties are used to getting the short end of the stick—from having
to work around right-handed school desks, computer mice and pretty much anything else that requires a dominant hand
to being regarded as an aberration that needs to be “fixed” to even being looked upon with fear (because there
happens to be a very old and extremely lengthy list of folklore andleft-handed
superstitionsall pointing to the left side equalling
Research on south paws hasn’t exactly turned up the best of news,
either. TheWall Street Journal, in an examination of several different studies, found that left-handed people really do have bad luck—if you consider having a higher risk for
brain and developmental disorders as ”bad luck,” that is.
Lefties make up about 10% of the population and further 1% are
mixed-handed (neither right- nor left-hand is dominant— either hand may be used for different daily tasks). But
studies have shown that 20% of schizophrenia sufferers are left-handed, and that links exist between being a lefty
and dyslexia, ADHD, and language development issues. These links are even more pronounced for people with
While there is a 25% chance that genetics will play a part in
defining a person’s handedness (the dominant-side hand) , it is environmental factors that play the biggest part in
making a lefty—especially by stress experienced in the womb. Older mothers and low birth weights are also more
likely to produce left-handed children. One Danish study found that women who experienced multiple traumas in their
third trimester were more than three times as likely to have a child with mixed-handedness. Cortisol, a stress
hormone able to cross the placental barrier, may affect fetal brain development and be the reason why left-handed
people’s brain hemispheres process information differently than right-handed people’s.
There are positives to being left-handed, of course—research shows that
lefties are better at divergent thinking, an element of creativity that allows one to develop new concepts from
existing facts, being left-handed can give an edge to athletes in certain sports, like tennis, baseball, and
fencing, and it can be a source of pride in our individualistic society. It is often noted, as well, that there
have been six left-handed U.S. presidents out of the last 12, Barack
Obama, Harry Truman and a mixed-handed Ronald Reagan included.
The link between stresses in the womb, how that affects the “wiring”
of the brain, and how that wiring affects psychiatric and developmental disorders is the crux of these
studies—being left-handed, especially mixed-handed, appears to be an indication of that different wiring. What this
means for parents is that doctors could begin to view being left- or mixed-handed as a risk factor for these
disorders—which could help children who experience difficulties at school or who have behavioral problems get
evaluations more quickly. And earlier diagnoses will hopefully get some children the help they need
Yea, understanding us lefties can be a bit confusing. However, we know
we are special and we ten to adapt just fine in most cases. It is a good idea to diagnose certain things to help at
an early age. Understanding Being Left Handed is a good idea.