Which hand do you use to write? 90% of the population is
right-handed, while a mere 10% are lefties. Scientists are unsure why the vast
majority of prefer use of their right hand, but there is evidence to contribute
hand dominance to genetics, health, or even your environment.
Hand dominance reflects the asymmetry (lack of equality) of
our brain structure. The functional differences of the left and right
hemispheres are believed to have an underlying effect on handedness. The left
hemisphere of our brains controls the right side of our body, while the right
hemisphere controls the left side of our body; the brain is cross wired. The
right hemisphere specializes in creativity and intuition, explaining the common
idea that left-handed people are more artistic and talented. Famous lefties
include Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Aristotle, Babe
Ruth, and Alexander the Great!
While identical twin siblings have the exact game DNA, they
often favor different hands! In fact, left handedness is almost twice as likely
to occur in twins! This evidence supports that hand dominance is much more than
genetic and may have more to do with environmental factors such as position in
the womb, handedness relearning by cultural influences, having a low birthweight
or even the season you’re born during!
Ancient cultures were extremely biased towards right
handedness. Ancient Egyptians often depicted their enemies as left-handed,
while ancient Greeks and Romans told mythology of the gods handing down curses and
injury with a swift left hand. These ancient cultures reserved the right hand
for the tasks of eating, religious ceremonies, and handshake greetings, while
the left hand was exclusively used for the task of cleaning yourself after
using the bathroom. The right hand is still customary for a handshake! The word
“sinister” in Latin originally meant “left,” but took on the mean of evil or
unlucky as we still use it today!
Left-handed individuals have an advantage in sports! Due to
most of the population being right-handed, lefties can use their opposing
dominance in face-to-face interactions to take their competition by surprise!
Boxing, tennis, and fencing show a higher percentage of left-handed athletes!
Left-handed baseball pitchers take their opponents by surprise!
While you may have a hand-dominance, you may favor your
opposite eye, ear, or hand in other situations! Test your dominance today!