I am part of the 11% of the population who is left handed, and handedness is the limit of the word “left” in my life…;)
That means that there should be around 650 million people left handed and we have our very own day to celebrate! The 13th of august… and even a society to join =)
Here is some cool data I read, thanks to wiki and several articles…
Disadvantages of lefties in society:
Pens and pencils: When a lefty writes with a pen or a pencil, his hand trails over the words he has previously written. Depending on the pen or pencil in question, this can lead to smudges all over the paper and the left hand. Erasable ink is notorious among lefties for this reason.
Scissors: Many lefties, when learning to use scissors for the first time, pick up a pair of right-handed scissors, place them in their left hand, and start cutting. Using the wrong scissors can cause RSI and carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are a lefty, you would probably be best using left-handed scissors in your left hand.
Playing cards: In a card game, when a lefty fans out his cards left-handed style, the numbers and suits cannot be seen. Lefties have to either read the cards upside-down, fan them out the opposite way, or buy left-handed cards with the number and suit in all corners.
School desks: Many schools use desks with a chair attached. The desktop is shaped so that you get in on the left side and you can rest your right arm while writing. A lefty’s left arm has to stick out off the edge of the desk. Left-handed desks, built the oppposite way, can be very hard to find. The Handedness Research Institute recommends that schools buy unbiased desks instead. For more information about the troubles lefties face when using right-handed desks, see What’s Wrong with This Desk? by HRI.
Power tools: Many power tools, when held with the left hand, can be very harmful. For example, a circular saw blows sawdust to the right, which is very convenent for a right-hander, but when held in the left hand, makes a mess.
Left-handedness and intelligence
In his book Right-Hand, Left-Hand, Chris McManus of University College London argues that the proportion of left-handers is rising and left-handed people as a group have historically produced an above-average quota of high achievers. He says that left-handers’ brains are structured differently in a way that widens their range of abilities, and the genes that determine left-handedness also govern development of the language centres of the brain.
McManus also says that the increase in the 20th century of people identifying as left-handed could produce a corresponding intellectual advance and a leap in the number of mathematical, sporting, or artistic geniuses.
In 2006, researchers at Lafayette College and Johns Hopkins University in a study found that left-handed men are 15 percent richer than right-handed men for those who attended college, and 26 percent richer if they graduated. The wage difference remains unexplained, and does not appear to apply to women.
Facts About Left-Handed People:
Left-handed people are many a times at a disadvantage using tools designed for the right-handed. Well this is true, but today, there is a whole range of tools and equipment being designed for left-handed people. Many right-handed tools too are available, such that they can be molded to suit the needs of the left-handed craftsman. Even the computer mouse has been challenged in use and the touch pad provides the left-handed professional equal opportunity.
Left-handed people are high achievers. Yes. Research reveals that left-handed people are in fact high achievers. This is because their brains are structured to widen their abilities, an attribute that is genetic and on account of the enhanced governing of ‘language centers’ within the brain. A number of mathematical, artistic and sporting geniuses were and are left-handed.
Left-handedness is usually forced to right-handedness due to cultural impact. Sadly, this is the case across the globe. Many children are forced into right-handedness during the formative years. Cultural pressure is fast changing though due the impact of mass literacy on society.
Left-handed people have a shorter lifespan than right-handed counterparts. Statistics reveal that left-handed people are more likely to succumb to accident fatalities and other injuries that arise out of a state of ‘affliction’. This is mainly due to majority people in the world being right-handed and hence the overall design of utilities being designed to accommodate the majority. Left-Hander Syndrome is a condition that is seen in left-handed people who are forced to write with their right hand; thus causing a mental state of confusion.
Left-handed persons use visual stimulus to process information. Research reveals that people who are left-handed do not use the sequential processing style like their right-handed colleagues, to disseminate information. Instead they are good at applying themselves to multiple tasks with the help of the synthesis method of breaking down information and finding a solution.
Famous Left-Handed People:
There are a number of famous left-handed people. The list includes:
Presidents of the United States of America: Harry S. Truman, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and the current President Barack Obama.
Legendary personalities: Joan of Arc, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Fidel Castro, Helen Keller.
Musicians and Composers: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Phil Collins, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr.
Artists: Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci.
Actors: Charlie Chaplin, Tom Cruise, Robert DeNiro, Greta Garbo, Whoopie Goldberg, Cary Grant, Angelina Joli, Nicole Kidman, Steve McQueen, Marilyn Monroe.