left handed person

Matthew Broderick, Nicole Kidman, Keanu Reeves, Mark Wahlberg, and Whoopi Goldberg. What do all of these Hollywood A-listers have in common? They’re all lefties!

Did you know being a righty or lefty is linked to variations in a network of genes which influence a specific part of your brain? Believe it or not, being a left-handed person was a factor on determining if you were a witch or even possessed by the devil. Needless to say, the world has progressively become more accepting of lefties and realized left-handers are not total freaks of nature. Companies have recognized the needs of lefties and even created desks, spiral notebooks and scissors to better accommodate their left handedness.

Do you know any lefties? Here are surprising facts, that you may not have known:

  1. According to some studies, life expectancy for lefties is lower than the expectancy for right handed people. Life on average is nine years less than right handers.
  2. Scientists have speculated for years that a single gene actually controls an individual’s left or right-hand preference. They haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact gene, but a ton of studies and research has happened and is continuing to take place to find out. However, in PLOS Genetics a group of researchers have an identified a network of genes related to handedness in human beings.
  3. Researchers have found that patients with dyslexia exhibited correlation between the gene PCSK6 and handedness.
  4. Animals, such as polar bears and chimpanzees, also have a handedness preference.
  5. 12 percent of the population is made of lefties.
  6. Left handed people are more likely to have allergies and are more prone to having migraines.
  7. Researchers have found that left-handed people are more likely to suffer from insomnia.
  8. Lefties use the right side of the brain the most.
  9. Did you know the right side of your brain has a lower tolerance to alcohol? Therefore, lefties are three times more likely to become alcoholics.
  10. On the bright side, lefties are more likely to be super smart. Their IQ and overall intelligence scale ranks higher than the average right handed person.
  11. Left handed people often times reach puberty four to five months later than right handers.
  12. Scientists have found that a lefty is more likely to suffer from stuttering disabilities and dyslexia.
  13. Tom Cruise, President Barrack Obama, Paul McCartney, Ross Kemp and Spike Lee are well-known lefties. With that in mind, did you know that lefties are twice as likely to be a man.
  14. Lefties have a better 3D perception and overall concept of strategic thinking. Fun fact, in case you didn’t know the standard definition – 3D perception is basically depth perception which is: the visual ability to perceive the world in three dimensions and the distance of an object. All that to say, lefties have a better gauge on how far or close objects are.
  15. A lefty is a better multi-tasker.
  16. Researchers have found that left handed people are 39 percent more likely to be homosexual.
  17. Almost 40 percent of tennis players are lefties.
  18. Doctors have found that a lefty, on average, will recover from a stroke faster.
  19. Oftentimes, most lefties will draw figures facing to the right.
  20. Historians have found that creative careers are sought out more by left handed people.
  21. Left handed college graduates are 26 percent richer than right handed graduates.
  22. Lefties adjust to seeing under water quicker than right handed people.
  23. Can you roll your tongue? If you’re a lefty and you can, this is a cool trick because lefties are less able to roll their tongue compared to a righty.
  24. It’s said that the nails on a lefty’s left hand grow faster than their right hand.
  25. Most Southpaws will use a knife or fork in the conventional way.

With all that trivia and fun facts in mind, I think it’s safe to say that lefties are special people. So special in fact that there is an actual real medical condition for people who fear left handed people. Seriously! The condition is called sinistrophobia – this fear is of left handed people and/or objects and things on the left side. Believe it or not suffers may even avoid using their left hand, touching another person’s left hand, and/or touching an object that comes in contact with their own left hand. Researchers have found that the condition is usually generated as a result of a negative past experience; however, other scientists have found that sometimes there is no definitive reason a person has this condition. But wait, there’s more. There is also a condition called dextrophobia and that is the same fear but opposite. Individuals who suffer from dextrophobia have a fear of objects on the right side of their body.

Now, there are people who also use their right hand or foot for various things – despite the fact that they use their left hand predominately. If you’re in question of how much of an actual lefty you are, there is a fun test you can take at Lefty Fretz. The personality quiz is based on the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory. In 1971, R. C. Oldfield published a measurement scale, that helped cultivate left handed theories, and is a way researchers have determined a general understanding of left or right-hand dominance.

Lefties are definitely a special group of people – so much so, they even have a special day. International Lefthanders Day has been officially designated as August 13th. As you may presume, on this day left handers promote awareness of the inconveniences they face on a daily basis and also celebrate their uniqueness and differences. The international day has been celebrated since 1976; however, the day (within the states) was declared officially in 1997 by the Left-Hander’s Day Club.

If you have a friend or family member that’s a lefty, make sure you recognize some of the daily struggles that they go through and confer, with them, as to whether or not our statistics and fun facts are applicable to their leftness.

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