This was originally published on Off The Main Page on July 30, 2017.
August 13 is International Lefthanders’ Day, so I’m celebrating already!
A long time ago, people thought that left-handed people had dealings with the devil and the trait had to be corrected. The prejudice is gone, but the question remains. Why are some people left-handed?
Some researchers believe it’s genetics, but that is not likely the full story. Some experts say genetics only play a part 25 percent of the time. Although, it can run in families. Some say handedness can be pretty random. Stress during pregnancy can cause a child to lean toward being left-handed.
It also doesn’t necessarily make you “right-brained.” Gina Grimshaw, Ph.D., director of the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Wellington in New Zealand, says:
Most left-handers seem to have similar language processing to right-handers. But for the most part, left-handers do not differ obviously from right-handers. They certainly don’t have reversed brains.”
It can also affect school performance as well. People who are left-handed or ambidextrous are more likely to use their brains in different ways.
Unfortunately, it is linked to a higher risk of mental health problems as well. According to a 2013 Yale University study, when researchers polled patients at a mental-health clinic, 40% of those with schizophrenia or schizoaffective said they wrote with their left hand.
Being left-handed makes us awesome and unique.