August 13 is International Left-handers’ Day. We’ve compiled a variety of surprising lefties only facts and some of the science behind hand dominance.
Did you know that scientists don’t actually know what causes left-handedness?
Individuals who study the brain and early development have a number of theories about what drives our hand preferences, but haven’t determined a solid reason why someone may be right- or left-handed.
- One theory is that hand dominance is established in the womb by the hand that babies prefer hold to their mouths.
- Another says higher testosterone in utero can increase the chances of becoming a lefty.
- And, a third theory attributes a genes group to handedness.
Whatever the cause of left-handedness, we compiled some fun and interesting facts you should know about lefties:
- About 10 percent of the general population are lefties
- Males are twice as likely to be left hand dominant than females
- Lefties are more creative. They’re better at divergent thinking — a method of idea generation that explores many possible solutions
- Four of the last seven presidents have been left-handed: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Gerald Ford
- Left-handers and those who are ambidextrous tend to have more negative emotions Left-handers do have an edge in one-on-one sports like tennis, boxing and baseball
- Lefties are more likely to be geniuses. Twenty percent of all Mensa members, an organization for high IQ individuals, are left handed
- Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin were both lefties
- There is an increased risk for dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and certain mood disorders in left-handed people
What’s the Left Brain, Right Brain Got to Do With It?
You may have heard the saying, ”Left-handed people are in the right minds.” This is referencing that it’s the right side of the brain that typically controls the left side of the body, and vise versa.
This may not be entirely true.
About two-thirds of lefties are also left-hemisphere dominant for speech and language.
Animal Handedness — Who Knew?
In the animal kingdom, we are not alone in hand dominance.
Mammals such as chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas, also exhibit a preferred hand. And, so do dogs.
The next time you take Fido out for a walk, note which paw leads first. You may be surprised how often it is the left (typically, a whopping 50 percent of the time!).
Livescience.com – Fun Facts About Lefties
Huffingtonpost.com – Left-handed Facts
Left-handed Facts Infographic
Healthland.time.com – Which is Better: Right- or Left-Brained?
Nytimes.com – Lefties Aren’t Special After all