Historically, left-handed people have been frowned upon for using what is considered the “lesser hand.” The fact of the matter is, lefties aren’t lesser. The use of that hand just means they’re more likely to come into various traits.
From artistic abilities and athleticism to anger and PTSD, here are some conditions more prone to lefties.
History Hasn’t Been Kind To Lefties
Thinking left-handed people are strange isn’t exactly a new concept in society. Throughout history, people with a dominant left hand have been looked down upon and have even been trained to use their right.
In some cultures, people who use their left hand for various things are even considered to be unclean.
In Some Places, Using The Left Hand Is Considered “Unclean”
In various countries, such as India, Nepal, and throughout the Middle East, a person tends to use their left hand for hygienic purposes. Because of this, people don’t use their left hand for, well, anything.
It is actually considered a cultural taboo to eat, shake a person’s hand, or even throw a ball using a left hand.
Catholicism Has A Different Interpretation
Western countries also have thoughts when it comes to the left hand, especially in religion. In Catholicism, the concept of a right-left split is pretty well known. In various pictures of Jesus and God, the former sits on the latter’s right-hand side.
God’s left hand is then left open, allowing him to pass judgment, which only he can do.
Left Handed? Must Be A Witch
The conflict between lefties and religion dates back further, though. In the 16th and 17th centuries, pretty much the heyday of crying “Witch!” women who used their left hands were, more often than not, accused of witchcraft.
This is because it was thought using one’s left hand was the sign they were working for the devil.
“Devil Worshiping” Made Its Way To Schools
This thought process found its way into a lot of private Catholic schools, with teachers strictly enforcing their left-handed students to use only their right hand. If they did not, they would be punished.
While this stigma against lefties hasn’t necessarily followed them into modern times, it has left them with some possible conditions and traits.
Lefties Make Up Five To Ten Percent Of The World
Because nearly 95% of the world is right-handed, lefties might feel different growing up. Because of this, they might find they struggle a bit more in school compared to their right-handed peers.
It’s not just because they’re any less intelligent, though. It is because lefties’ brains aren’t as “lateralized” as righties.
It’s All About The Brain
According to Frontiers For Young Minds, “The brains of left-handers and right-handers are somewhat different. Left-handers tend to have less lateralized brains, meaning that the two halves of the brain are less distinct than in right-handers.”
This means while lefties favor their left hand, they actually favor the right side of their brain.
Lefties Might Be Prone To Mental Illness
Not only that, but studies have shown lefties are more prone to various mental illnesses. Some of these illnesses include mood disorders, schizophrenia, and dyslexia, all of which are connected to the concept of brain lateralization.
Lefties are considered prone to other vices, especially when they’re younger and feel different.
Still, There Is A Lot Of Research To Be Done
While the exact reason lefties are more prone to these conditions and mental illnesses is still being studied by scientists, many believe it is due to how a leftie’s brain functions.
Then some studies have disproved a connection between illnesses such as schizophrenia and left-handed people. There is a lot of research that still needs to be done on the topic.
There Are Health Benefits
Researchers have found that while there are some not-so-fun health conditions associated with lefties, there are some benefits in connection to people who utilize their left hand.
Studies have shown that people who have a dominant left hand are less prone to develop certain health conditions than their right hand-dominant peers, such as arthritis and ulcers.
Lefties Might See The World Differently
Because lefties tend to utilize the right side of the brain more, which caters to creativity and imagination, they can see the world differently.
Most of the time, they have to utilize the right side of the brain to come up with creative ways to use tools that are typically designed for righties, such as scissors.
Embarrassment And Anger Might Come Easily
Due to brain lateralization, lefties are thought to become embarrassed or angry much easier than their righty peers.
According to research, this is because the right side of the brain is also connected to a person’s emotional center. And emotions are something lefties are constantly tuned into. This might sound familiar to lefties.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption Might Be More Likely
Not only are lefties more prone to mental illness, but studies show that they are more likely to consume larger amounts of alcohol compared to their right-handed peers. Of course, all of this is still on a person-to-person basis.
While mental illnesses and alcohol consumption are traits that show later in life, lefties have some conditions that make themselves known at birth.
Lefties And Pregnancy Are Connected
There are some pregnancy and birth trends related to those with a dominant left hand. Babies who are born to older mothers tend to be more likely to use their left hand.
And there also might be a connection between low birth weights and a child using their left hand later in life.
Stressful Pregnancies Might Lead To A Left-Handed Baby
There are more trends related to pregnancy, though. Mothers experiencing stressful births might be more likely to have their children grow up using their left hand. During an ultrasound, a baby might even be seen favoring their left hand over their right!
Unfortunately, for the leftie child, their stressful conditions are only just beginning.
Lefties Might Be More Prone To Fear
The right side of the brain houses memories. Unfortunately for lefties, this means they might be a bit more scared at certain things than their right-handed peers.
And, if something very traumatizing and horrible happens in their life, they are more likely to be affected by post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
Lefties Have An Advantage in Sports
Lefties are not pre-destined for a life of fear and mental illness, though. Being a leftie actually comes with a lot of benefits! When it comes to athletics, lefties have a huge advantage over their right-handed opponents, as there are few lefties in sports.
Right-handed athletes typically have to think harder when facing off against a left-handed player.
Lefties Are Creative And Make Great Artists And Musicians
Not only athleticism, but lefties are more prone to become artists. Thanks to brain lateralization and the artistic right side of the brain, lefties tend to be more on the creative side than right-handed people.
Artists such as Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and even musicians Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix rocked a dominant left hand!
They Make Excellent Songwriters
Left-handed musicians, such as McCartney and Hendrix, have an advantage over right-handed musicians, too. Since lefties are right-brain dominant, they process sound a bit slower than their right-handed peers.
This allows them to hear all of the little nuances in speech, notes, and various other sounds, making them great songwriters.
There Have Even Been Political Lefties!
And who said left-handed people are only buckets of stress with anger issues? Many prominent people in history are left-handed, including a few former United States Presidents.
Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, H.W. Bush, and even Gerald Ford all favor the use of their left hand over their right hand.
Scientifically Speaking, Lefties Are Better At Math
It turns out that using the right side of their brain more often than the left has lefties at a mathematical advantage.
A study from the Frontiers of Psychology shows that lefties scored between five to ten percent higher on complex math tests than their right-handed peers. Apparently, it has something to do with abstract thought and spatial reasoning, thanks to the right side of the brain.