Just Explain It: The Truth About Left-handed People

About 90 percent of people in the world today are right-handed.  That makes life for the other ten percent who are left-handed a little more complicated, including, by the way, the President of the United States.

Every day, left-handed folks quietly face obstacles most right-handed people will never know.  It could be something as simple as driving a car, or using a can opener or a pair of scissors.

In this Just Explain It, we’ll look at the truths and expel myths about left-handed people.
          
First, did you know that five out of the last seven United States presidents were left-hand dominant? In 1992, all three major presidential candidates were left-handed. Four years later in 1996, the top three candidates for president were again lefties. Of the three, Senator Bob Dole was the only one who was originally right-handed.  He learned to use his left hand after a World War II injury paralyzed his right hand. Then in 2008, long-time Senator John McCain campaigned against then Senator Barack Obama for the White House.  And if you haven't guessed it already…they're both left-handed.  

Why are so few of us left-handed?   The reality is, we really don’t know.  One theory is that handedness could be a result of genetics.

Scientists say there are two genes associated with handedness.  One is the D gene - it promotes right-hand preference.  The other is the C gene…it has the ability to promote a preference for either hand.  The D gene, however, is more frequent in the population.  But when the C gene is present there’s a 50 percent chance that a person could be right or left-handed.

Another theory on handedness has to do with our brains. They’re made up of two halves.  If the left half of your brain is dominant, then you’re most likely right-handed.  But with lefties, it’s more complex.  Seventy percent of left-handers are also left-brain dominant. The other 30 percent of lefties have right-side dominant brains or the dominance is evenly distributed between both sides.

However, if you’re born with a preference towards your left hand…you can be trained to use your right. But why would anyone actually do that?

Maybe because people believe in myths like, right-handed people live longer healthier lives.  Or that it’s difficult for left-handed kids to learn how to write the alphabet. Or maybe they think lefties are clumsy.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, left-handedness was considered a disability and children were taught to use their right hands.  Even today the popular website Thesaurus.com describes left-handed as awkward or sinister.

But not all of the myths about left-handers are negative. One myth suggests they are more creative and smarter as a group than their right-handed peers.  So far scientific research has yet to find any truth to these claims.  In fact, a 2013 survey out of New Zealand found that personality wise; lefties and righties were the same. 

Life might be a little more complicated for left-handers when it comes to cutting a piece of paper or opening a bottle of wine, but it seems to be a good sign if you’re trying to make it to the White House.

Every year on August 13th, lefties around the world celebrate their hand preference.  It’s been happening since 1992 and raises the awareness of the difficulties left-handers face every day in life.

Do you think being right or left-handed leads to success in life? Let us know what you think. Give us your feedback in the comments below or on Twitter using #JustExplainItNews.

Loading...
  • Special Report: Where Ukraine's separatists get their weapons
    Special Report: Where Ukraine's separatists get their weapons

    By Thomas Grove and Warren Strobel DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - On the last day of May, a surface-to-air rocket was signed out of a military base near Moscow where it had been stored for more than 20 years.     According to the ornate Cyrillic handwriting in the weapon's Russian Defence Ministry logbook, seen by Reuters, the portable rocket, for use with an Igla rocket launcher, was destined for a base in Rostov, some 50 km (31 miles) from the Ukrainian border. In that area, say U.S. officials, lies a camp for training Ukrainian separatist fighters.     Three weeks later the rocket and its logbook turned up in eastern Ukraine, where government troops seized them from pro-Russian separatists. The seal of the Russian Defence Ministry has been stamped over the signature sending the weapon to Rostov.     A copy of the log was passed to a diplomat in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev. Reuters was unable to verify its authenticity with the Russian military, and Moscow has consistently denied arming the separatists in eastern Ukraine.    The Igla and its logbook are just one indication that weapons are flowing from Russia into Ukraine.

  • PG&E charged with obstruction over San Bruno blast

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric was charged Tuesday with lying to regulators in connection with a fatal pipeline explosion that killed eight people and leveled a suburban Northern California neighborhood in 2010.

  • Top Colorado court halts gay marriages in Boulder
    Top Colorado court halts gay marriages in Boulder

    Colorado's Supreme Court ordered Boulder County to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples while an appeal from the state attorney general is heard.

  • SON'S CLUMSINESS MAY HAVE A PHYSICAL CAUSE

    DEAR ABBY: In short, my son is a klutz -- to the point that it affects his self-confidence. He's different from everyone else in the family. Is being a klutz genetic? Is it permanent? He's not doing well academically, either. How can I help him? -- PARENT WHO CARES DEAR PARENT: One way to help your son would be to stop other family members from making fun of him and labeling him as a klutz. When people laugh and ridicule others, it makes them only more self-conscious and more clumsy. Another way to help would be to have him examined by an ophthalmologist and a neurologist. ...

  • Top doctor dies from Ebola after treating dozens
    Top doctor dies from Ebola after treating dozens

    Authorities say the top doctor treating Ebola in Sierra Leone has died from the disease.

  • More mysterious craters found in Russia's remote Siberia region

    Two more craters of unknown origin have been spotted in Russia's Siberia region, weeks after a similar-looking hole was found in the isolated northernmost area, a local paper reported. The Siberian Times, an English-language newspaper, published pictures of two new giant holes discovered by reindeer herders, one located in the Yamal and the other in the Taymyr peninsula, both above the Arctic circle. Russian state TV reported earlier this month that a giant hole had appeared in the gas-rich Yamal peninsula where temperatures plummet below -50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit) and the sun barely rises in winter. Yamal, inhabited by indigenous reindeer herders, is one of Russia's richest regions in natural gas.

  • Caterpillar shares rise premarket after $2.5 billion accelerated buyback pact announced

    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Shares of Dow industrials component Caterpillar gained 0.8% in premarket trade after the heavy equipment and engine maker announced an accelerated $2.5 billion stock repurchase ...

  • Republicans Have Lost Control of the Impeachment Plot They Hatched
    Republicans Have Lost Control of the Impeachment Plot They Hatched

    The impeachment debate is another example of fringe conservative ideology hurting the establishment's election chances. House Speaker John Boehner knows that, which is why he said Tuesday that impeachment is a "scam" created by Democrats to motivate their base to vote and donate ahead of the midterm elections, according to the Associated Press. Democrats are fundraising off impeachment, but this conversation was started by Sarah Palin and her fans. Democrats are capitalizing off the idea that House Republicans will try to impeach the president, and even fundraising off comments made by White House officials — last week senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said they take the impeachment threat "very seriously," and soon after the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sent this email: Now Democrats aren't even pegging their fundraising appeals on Republican threats to impeach Obama.

Follow Yahoo! News