In a world of right-handed ones, left-handed ones are the odd ones out. Making up just 10 per cent of the population, left-handed folk stand out in a world of right-handedness. To start with, their brains are wired differently, their dominant brain side is not the one of the majority. Things are built for the right-handed. Hooks, buttons, scissor grips, implements, desks and more. The left-handed struggle because the world was made to serve right-handed folk, and little things prove daunting just because their slight difference hasn’t been factored in. Thankfully, there has been increased awareness in recent times and product design is taking into consideration that left-handed as well as right-handed people will be using the end product.

But it isn’t all only about inconvenience, left-handed people, sadly enough were viewed through a lens of suspicion. Here’s a few facts and a few myths.

A prevalent myth is that lefties are more creative.  However a study found that while left-handed men were more creative in their problem solving, there was no such finding for women.

A prevalent myth is that lefties are more creative.  However a study found that while left-handed men were more creative in their problem solving, there was no such finding for women.

Left-handed people find themselves drawn to art, music and even sport. Their opponents have a disadvantage in one on one sport because they can practice a lot against right-handers while the right-handed get no such or minimal opportunity to practice against left-handed players.

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Another myth is that left-handed people are more introverted than right-handed ones, but a 2013 study in New Zealand found no such distinction between left-handed and right-handed people on a study consisting of five personality measures.

The depictions of Satan have him left-handed which had most folk in the medieval times thinking left-handedness was evil and did all they could to erase this from their children. Many children were forced into becoming right handed purely because of this perception.

Another factor is the consideration of right as good and left as evil. Early depictions of the Garden of Eden showed Eve standing to the left of Adam.

Another factor is the consideration of right as good and left as evil. Early depictions of the Garden of Eden showed Eve standing to the left of Adam.

Early cultures thought a boy was born when the seed came from the right testicle and the left produced seeds that created girls.

In the Salem Witch Trials, women were condemned as witches and were burnt at the stake purely for being left handed due to the prejudice against left-handedness.

In the early 20th century psychoanalysts unfairly stigmatised left-handedness by stating it led to homosexuality and sexual perversion. In fact as late as 1970, psychologist Theodore Blau would write that left-handed children were academically challenged and prone to mental illnesses.

High time we discarded all these outdated myths about ‘lefties’ and let every child use their natural dominant hand unhindered.

Interestingly, there seems to be no overall consensus over any disadvantages left-handedness would bring over right handedness, barring the inconvenience of a world designed for right-handers. High time we discarded all these outdated myths about ‘lefties’ and let every child use their natural dominant hand unhindered.

Image credit: The Lighthouse

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