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...
  • 10 Things to Know for Today
    10 Things to Know for Today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

  • Nasdaq stocks posting largest percentage increases

    A look at the 10 biggest percentage gainers on Nasdaq at the close of trading: Alliqua Inc. rose 17.1 percent to $7.89. China XD Plastics rose 15.9 percent to $6.77. ANI Pharma rose 14.7 percent to $24.79. ...

  • Toyota Camry gets a top-to-bottom makeover
    Toyota Camry gets a top-to-bottom makeover

    Shaken by the advances of newer, sportier rivals, the Toyota Camry is trying to shed its vanilla reputation. The redesigned 2015 Camry, unveiled Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show, is longer ...

  • Fears rise for missing in SKorea ferry sinking
    Fears rise for missing in SKorea ferry sinking

    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — Strong currents, rain and bad visibility hampered an increasingly anxious search Thursday for 287 passengers, many thought to be high school students, still missing more than a day after their ferry flipped onto its side and sank in cold waters off the southern coast of South Korea.

  • Ukraine army's humiliations pile up as eastern push fizzles
    Ukraine army's humiliations pile up as eastern push fizzles

    The humiliation Wednesday of the Ukrainian army in its much-vaunted "anti-terrorist" push into separatist eastern territory makes an embarrassing string of failures even worse. They pointed out that the region, the Donbass, is hostile to Kiev's new, pro-EU leaders, and home to magnates and police reluctant to face down the separatists. A military expert at the Razumkov think-tank in Kiev, Oleksiy Melnik, criticised the government for hesitating to use force and in the end sending in a smaller force than the one implied when it announced its "major operation" on Sunday. "The arguments that 'We mustn't provoke Russia' are absurd in the current situation, because Russia needs no pretext to carry out its plan.

  • Three dead in east Ukraine, Putin warns of 'abyss'
    Three dead in east Ukraine, Putin warns of 'abyss'

    By Aleksandar Vasovic MARIUPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) - Separatists attacked a base of the Ukrainian national guard overnight and Kiev said three separatists were killed, the worst bloodshed yet in a 10-day pro-Russian uprising in east Ukraine, overshadowing crisis talks to resolve the conflict. Ukrainian, Russian and Western diplomats arrived for the emergency talks in Geneva, but there was little hope of any progress in resolving a crisis that has seen armed pro-Russian fighters seize whole swathes of Ukraine, while Moscow masses tens of thousands of troops on the frontier. President Vladimir Putin, who overturned decades of post-Cold War diplomacy last month by declaring Russia's right to intervene in neighboring countries and annexing Ukraine's Crimea region, accused the authorities in Kiev of plunging the country into an "abyss".

  • Students trapped in sinking ferry send heartbreaking text messages
    Students trapped in sinking ferry send heartbreaking text messages

    Ferry Survivors Describe Sliding Bodies, Grabbing at Railings, Wall of Water

Follow Yahoo! News