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Why Are Some People Left Handed

Team StoryWeavers|December 23, 2021, 19:50 IST| 7

If you are left-handed, you would agree that navigating through everyday life is challenging. And for those who aren’t, you would understand how difficult it is for your left-handed friends to study or play everyday. 

A lot of things, including desks, spiral-bound notebooks and even a pair of scissors, are designed for right-handed users. Although there are some that are especially made for the former, predominantly, they are made for their right handed counterparts.

But have you ever wondered: Why are some people left-handed? Is it biological or is it just a habit that people acquire?

A left-handed gene?

Some of you may have read that being left-handed is biological. There are several theories that explain its connection to genetics. 

In fact, scientists have long speculated that there is a particular gene that controls the left and right movement. And there has been continuous research on it. As recently as in 2019, experts from the Oxford University came up with research on the link between DNA and left-handedness. It looks like there is a slight genetic mutation that makes us left-handed.

There is some link to genes and left handedness

In their published results, the neurology journal, Brain, which studied 4,00,000 people, say that the genes inherited from parents have a role to play in the rise of the dominant hand. Some studies also show that multiple genes, mostly up to 40, contribute to this trait. 

However, it’s not all attributed to genes. The best guess is that handedness is 25% genetic. The rest 75% boils down to the environment (anything that’s not in the genes). If you were asked to change your handedness as a child, it is likely that it makes a permanent change.

Is being left-handed unconventional?

Predominantly, the world has always had more right-handed people. Statistics show that left-handed people form roughly around 10 percent of the population.

Putting the numbers in perspective, it seems like the universal preference is being right-handed. And the preference starts early. Studies show that even in the womb, fetuses prefer right-sided thumb sucking. And this preference mostly continues for life. 

Are there any benefits to being left-handed?

If you are left-handed, you are among great company. Famous people who are left-handed include Barack Obama, Sachin Tendulkar, Albert Einstein and Amitabh Bachchan.  

It also means that you have unique traits to your credit. And we are sure you confirm that because even studies suggest the same! When you are left-handed, your brain works differently and the hemispheres of the brain are better connected at various points, in comparison to the right-handers. 

Being left handed has its own advantages.

And this connection has resulted in positive traits: 

  • First of all, your language skills may be better. This is proved in a study conducted by Oxford University. 
  • You also can remember more effectively. Experts from the University of Toledo in Ohio have confirmed this. 
  • Your math skills may also be marginally better. In a study conducted on over 2.300 Italian students, the left-handers performed better. 

Looks like being left-handed might naturally make you better learners! 

Can lefties be trained to be ambidextrous?

This might be a common question.  As we mentioned earlier, it is easier to be right-handed, because a lot of the things that you use are made for their benefit. As a result, some left-handed people try to use their right hands or both. 

It seems pretty cool to be able to write and play with both hands, right? And some of them have also been actively training themselves to achieve this feat!

Experts believe that it takes around six months of dedicated practice. 

However, it is believed to have adverse effects too. Studies have shown that it may have an adverse effect on your nervous system. It might even impair your math, language and reasoning abilities. 

Now that you have a basic idea about left-handedness, can we have the left-handers share their experiences in the comments?!

About the Author

Aparna is a mom, singer and dreamer. At BYJU'S, she writes stories about learning for children. She believes in the power of music, especially ghazal, the magic of the universe and happy learners. When not writing or singing, you will find her intensely engaged in conversations about life and the power of words.

Leave a Comment



Sonia Pinkerton

March 13, 2022

I am a lefty and I have been aseamstsress and crafter all my life (I am almost 80)


December 27, 2021

Why do we get sore throat

Manavi Ghag

December 24, 2021

Informative and very useful!! 🙂


December 19, 2021

It is a nice article.

Aryan Baikar

December 19, 2021

Thank you for the information

Divyanshi Rathore ??

December 13, 2021

Nice information but I’m left handed ???


December 11, 2021

Good information ?


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