Facts about Left-Handedness

 

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  • Facts about Left-Handedness Below

  • Southpaws make up about 3% of the population in the most peaceful primitive societies, but 27% in the most warlike ones. Researchers believe that in violent societies, left-handers may benefit from their unexpected left hook.[5]
  • Women are more likely to be right-handed than men by about 4 percentage points.[11]
  • Between 10-12% of people on earth are “lefties.”[11]
  • Some scholars note that left-handers may be one of the last unorganized minorities in society because they have no collective power and no real sense of common identity. Additionally, left-handers are often discriminated against by social, educational, and religious institutions. Social customs and even language set the left-hander apart as “different” and even “bad.”[2]
  • At various times in history, left-handedness has been seen as many things: a nasty habit, a mark of the devil, a sign of neurosis, rebellion, criminality, and homosexuality. It has also been seen as a trait indicating creativity and musical abilities.[2]
  • Many sources claim that left-handers may die as many as nine years earlier than right-handers.[2]
  • The word left in English comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lyft, which means weak or broken.b[2]
  • The causes may include intrauterine crowding, mirror-imaging, and pre- and/or perinatal damage
  • Left-handedness is twice as common in twins than in the general population.[6]
  • Phrases in English suggest a negative view of left-handedness. For example, a “left-handed complement” is actually an insult. A “left-handed marriage” is not a marriage but an adulterous sexual liaison, as in a “left-handed honeymoon with someone else’s husband.” A “left-handed wife” is actually a mistress.[2]
  • Famous left-handed intellectuals include Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Benjamin Franklin.[2]
  • Mothers who are over 40 at the time of a child’s birth are 128% more likely to have a left-handed baby than a woman in her 20s.[2]
  • In reference to a person’s sex life, a “left-hander” is a homosexual.[3]
  • The German for “left-handed’ is linkisch, which means awkward, clumsy, and maladroit. In Italian, the word is mancino, which is derived from “crooked” or “maimed” (mancus) and is also used to mean deceitful or dishonest. In Russian, to be called a left-hander (levja) is a term of insult.[3]
  • In Latin, the word for left is sinister, related to the noun sinistrum. Ambisinister means “clumsy on both sides.”[2]
  • Among the Eskimos, every left-handed person is viewed as a potential sorcerer. In Morocco, left-handers are considered to be a s’ga, a word that means either a devil or a cursed person.[3]
  • In the Talmud, the Chief of Satans or Prince of Demons is named Samael, which is associated with the Hebrew word for left side, se’mol. The angel Michael sits on God’s right-hand side, while Samael is on his left-hand side. This attribution of evil to the left and good to the right appears in various forms throughout the world.[2]
  • Stressed mothers are more likely to have a left-handed child
  • Research has shown a link between trauma during gestation or during birth with an increased chance of being left-handed.[2]
  • The word “dexterity” shows a right-handed bias. The term dexter means “right” and refers to being “right-handed” on both sides.[3]
  • The Incas thought left-handers were capable of healing and that they possessed magical abilities. The North American Zuni tribe believed left-handedness signified good luck.c[3]
  • Herbert Hoover is believed to be the first left-handed president, though James Garfield could write Greek with the left hand and Latin with the right.[3]
  • Many artistic representations of the devil show him to be left-handed.[2]
  • In witchcraft texts in medieval Europe, it was the left hand that was used to harm or curse another person. To affect a curse, witches were instructed to silently touch the recipient with the left hand, which would convey the curse. Additionally, the devil supposedly gives the gathering a benediction with the left hand, as opposed to the right-handed blessing of the Christian church. He would also baptize or anoint with his left hand.[2]
  • During the Spanish Inquisition, lefties were more likely to be tortured.[2]
  • Using a spiral notebook is a modern form of torture for a leftie
  • The Boston Strangler, Jack the Ripper, and Osama Bin Laden were lefties.[2]
  • Both the Jewish and Christian traditions are strongly right-handed in their nature and practices. For Catholics, Anglicans, Episcopalians, and other denominations, the priest must present the communion wafer with the right hand, and the communicant accepts it with the right hand. All benedictions must be made with the right hand, and a priest symbolizes the “strong right hand of God.”[2]
  • Medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides (A.D. 1135-1204) listed 100 blemishes a Jewish priest could not have, and being left-handed was one of them.[2]
  • In Scotland there is a saying that describes an unlucky person: “He must have been baptized by a left-handed priest.”[2]
  • The right hand is mentioned positively 100 times in the Bible, while the left hand is mentioned only 25 times, all negatively.[2]
  • In many Islamic countries, people are forbidden to eat with their left hand, which is considered “unclean” because it is used for cleaning the body after defecation.[3]
  • Twenty percent of all Mensa members are left-handed
  • Tests conducted by St. Lawrence University in New York found that there were more left-handed people with IQs over 140 than right-handed people.b[2]
  • Although approximately 90% of all humans are right-handed, cats, rats, and mice that show handedness seem to be equally split between right- and left-pawedness.[2]
  • Human asymmetrical behavior patterns involve the foot, eye, and ear as well as the hand. In each case, humans show the same rightward bias they show toward handedness.[2]
  • Left-handedness has also been called mancinism, sinistromanuality, and cackhandedness. Other colloquialisms for left-handedness include skivvy-handed, scrummy-handed, kaggy-fisted, cawk-fisted, gibble-fisted, southpaw, cunny-and ballock-handed.[2]
  • According to tradition, an itchy left hand indicates you will lose money. An itchy right hand indicates you will receive money.[3]
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