About one-tenth of the world’s population is left-handed. But why is there only such a small proportion of left-handers, and that is that if you must this feature? In this article we will try to give answer to all these questions and demystify misconceptions that may still persist about this common phenomenon.
In a past not so long ago a person left-handed was seen with a negative connotation. Usually, as soon since a child, a person left-handed was forced to write and eat with the right hand, as if there were a hand “right” and a hand “wrong”.
Since there have always been left-handed people and in reality the dominant hand is not something that we can choose, it is something natural, that can be planned before the birth, taking into account the position of the fetus in the womb.
WHY IS IT THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE LEFT-HANDED?
The chances of a person to be right hand or left hand are determined by the manual dexterity of the parents:
- If the father is left-handed, and the mother is the right hand, there is 17% chance of birth of a person’s left foot;
- If both parents are right-handed, they have a 10% chance of having a child left-handed.
However, in some cases, the dominant side can be determined by social factors, as some families and teachers try to influence the child to use the right hand instead of the left.
BUT, WHY IS IT THAT THE PROPORTION OF LEFT-HANDED PEOPLE IS SMALLER AND HAS BEEN MAINTAINED OVER TIME?
There are a lot of theories that attempt to explain why the majority of people being right handed, and the why of hand dominance. One of the latest theories states that the ratio between left-handed people and right-handed reflects a balance between the competitive pressures (activities that involve an opponent; fight; sport) and cooperative (not competitive) of human evolution.
In competitive activities be left-handed can be an advantage and function as the element of surprise. As the lefties are in the minority, their opponents spend most of their time practicing and the experience with both right-handed. Thus, when a person left-handed and a right-handed person facing, the left-handed is an advantage.
So, we can think that if human evolution were to be made only of struggles and competitions, lefties would have the advantage and would not be a minority.
But according to this theory, not everything in human evolution is based on competition and struggle, and there is a strand of the cooperative.
Not through struggle and competition, left-handed people may have more difficulties, since most of the tools we all use are pre-designed to be used by right-handed people (scissors; iron; tin opener).
THE BRAIN OF A PERSON LEFT-HANDED IS DIFFERENT FROM THE BRAIN OF A RIGHT HANDED?
The laterality (the dominance of one of the sides of the body) is the preference of the use of one of the symmetrical parts of the body (hand, eye, ear, leg).
Handedness is important, in the sense that it may interfere with the learning process in a decisive way: the more consistent and homogeneous for the laterality, the more easily the skills are developed.
In fact, what determines whether the person will be right-handed or left-handed is the brain, which is divided into 2 hemispheres: the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right side of the body, while the right hemisphere controls the left side.
The preference for the right hand in most of the activities of the day-to-day points to a dominance of the cerebral hemisphere to the left in motor functions and language. In turn, the left-handed people have dominance brain right -, or mixed (that is, distributed between the left and right hemispheres) for the language.
Both the mental structures, left-handed and right-handed people, work qualitatively at the same level, that is, there are no intellectual differences.
Each cerebral hemisphere is responsible for different functions. The majority of left-handers have a dominance of the right hemisphere, therefore, it is natural that they can have a better performance in the functions for which this hemisphere is responsible for.
Thus, left-handed people may be more likely, for example, to be more creative, have better perception of three-dimensional, having good performance in sports in which they have to interact with opponents (for example, tennis and boxing).
Left-handed people can also have, in most cases, a better connection between the two hemispheres, which can contribute to the capacity of information-processing on top.
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