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How many lefties are in the world: The Big Number: Lefties make up about 10 percent of the world


Two-Thirds of the World Still Hates Lefties | Smart News

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There are still some pretty annoying things about being left-handed. But in America, at least, we’ve mostly stopped forcing lefties to learn to use their right hand. That’s not the case everywhere, though. China, for example, claims that less than one percent of students are left-handed. If that were true, it would be strange: the global average of lefties comes in at 10-12 percent. A study in the journal Endeavor recently took on this question: Why are there no left-handers in China? The researchers also looked at India and Islamic countries and discovered that nearly two-thirds of the world’s lefty population faces discrimination.

There’s nothing special about the genetics of people living in China that makes them less likely to be lefties. Chinese-Americans are just as likely to be left handed as any other Americans. The lefties in China are actually switching their dominant hands. Why? Because it’s simply more difficult for them to stick with their naturally dominate hand than for people in Europe of the United States. Many Chinese characters require a right hand, says Discovery News.

Elsewhere, stigma against lefties still exists. Discovery News reports:

 In many Muslim parts of the world, in parts of Africa as well as in India, the left hand is considered the dirty hand and it’s considered offensive to offer that hand to anyone, even to help. The discrimination against lefties goes back thousands of years in many cultures, including those of the West.

Even the word left comes from “lyft” which meant broken. The German words “linkisch” also means awkward. The Russian word “levja” is associated with being untrustworthy. Synonyms for left in Mandarin are things like weird, incorrect and wrong.

And for a long time there were all sorts of ways to “retrain” lefties. An article in The Lancet explains the “scientific” rationales used:

The methods used to obtain this result were often tortuous, including tying a resistant child’s left hand to immobilise it. Typical of the reasoning to justify such practices is a 1924 letter to the British Medical Journal endorsing “retraining” of left-handers to write with their right hands, because otherwise the left-handed child would risk “retardation in mental development; in some cases…actual feeble-mindedness”. As late as 1946 the former chief psychiatrist of the New York City Board of Education, Abram Blau, warned that, unless retrained, left-handed children risked severe developmental and learning disabilities and insisted that “children should be encouraged in their early years to adopt dextrality…in order to become better equipped to live in our right-sided world”.

While today in the United States and Europe, left handed kids aren’t punished and retrained, these same sorts of biases still exist in large parts of the world, proving that righties are just as capable as being sinister as lefties.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Is My Cat Right- or Left-Handed?
We’re Biased By Our Body’s Dominant Side


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29 Lefties that’ll make you wish you were a member of the southpaw club

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While only between 10 and 15 percent of the global population identifies as being left-handed, a seemingly disproportionate number of world leaders, artists and icons live their lives southpaw style. Take, for example, U.S. presidents.

President Obama is a proud lefty and he’s far from alone. In fact, five of the United States’ last seven presidents favored the less favored hand: President Clinton, President George H.W. Bush, President Reagan and President Ford.

Interestingly enough, Senator John McCain is also left-handed. So either way the 2004 election had gone, a lefty would have been Commander-in-Chief.

Prince William

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is also a lefty, which works out nicely for the British royal family because he and Duchess Kate can both wave to well-wishers with their dominant hands.



Ned Flanders, the Simpsons’ religious next door neighbor, is so rah rah about being left-handed that he quit his job in the pharmaceuticals industry and invested his life savings into “The Leftorium,” a store in the Springfield Mall that specializes in products for lefties.

And Flanders isn’t alone. Numerous characters on “The Simpsons” are shown writing with and favoring their left hands, including Bart Simpson, Marge Simpson, Mr. Burns, Seymour Skinner, Moe Szyslak, Martin Prince and Dolph Starbeam. All that lefty love is due to the fact that Simpsons creator Matt Groening is left-handed himself.

Julia Roberts

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Historically, there has been a bit of stigma around left-handedness. For years, people believed the trait to be a sign of brain damage, disease or evil. In fact, the word for “left” in Latin derives from the same root as the word for “sinister.” And that theory is not without its notable examples: the Boston Strangler, Jack the Ripper and Osama bin Laden were all lefties.

Don’t try to pick that argument with lefty actress Julia Roberts, though. She played Erin Brockovich, so she’s probably pretty formidable in a verbal battle.

Steve Jobs & Bill Gates

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In recent years, psychologists have hypothesized that — rather than being a sign of malady or evil — being left-handed may actually be a sign of a strong right brain and, as such, superior language skills and creativity. The fact that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are both lefties certainly supports that theory.

Mark Zuckerberg

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Rounding out the group of tech geniuses who changed the world with their left hands, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is a southpaw as well.

Oprah Winfrey

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Billionaire Oprah Winfrey is also a member of the southpaw club. And since women are statistically less likely to be left-handed than men, this is yet another quality that sets Oprah apart and makes the talk-show queen her OWN woman.

Justin Bieber

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There may be “One Less Lonely Girl” because of Justin Bieber, but there’s also one more lonely right-handed baseball mitt.

The Biebs is a lefty. Just look at the hand with which the Canadian pop star accepts awards.


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In the film “Hellboy,” the title character brandishes a gun with his left hand. Perhaps thats because the actor playing that character, Ron Perlman, is left-handed in real life.

Lefties attract

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Hollywood power couple Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick are both left-handed. So, forget Ferris. In their household, right hands get the day off.

Paul McCartney

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When Sir Paul McCartney took up the bass guitar as a child, he found it difficult to play right-handed. So, he reversed the strings and the rest is history. He now plays a true left-handed bass.

Left-handed guitar phenom Jimi Hendrix, on the other hand, played a right-handed Fender Strat, slung upside-down across his shoulders. He didn’t even feel the need to restring it. Hendrix simply taught himself how to strum the strings in reverse order.

There are also a number of notable musicians, including Duane Allman, Barry Gibb and Paul Simon, who are left-handed by birth, but play their instruments righty.

Will Ferrell

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Will Ferrell is part of a long list of left-handed comedians. Perhaps that’s why his “Zoolander” character, Mugatu, holds his evil dog in his left hand.

Lady Gaga

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When pop star Lady Gaga sings about being “Born This Way,” she could very well be talking about being left-handed.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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In his book “Right-Hand, Left-Hand,” University College London psychologist Chris McManus states that lefties have made up a disproportionately larger number of high achievers throughout history. Perhaps that explains why lefty Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has presided on the nation’s highest court for years.

Caitlyn Jenner

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There are a number of things that make Caitlyn Jenner unique. She holds a gold medal in the Olympic decathlon. She embarked on arguably the most public transition in history. And, last but not least, she’s a lefty.

Jerry Seinfeld & Jason Alexander

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There are a number of prominent comedians who prove that the dexterous road less taken may just be the funnier path. “Seinfeld” funny men Jason Alexander and Jerry Seinfeld are both left handed, as are Trey Parker, Jason Sudeikis, Ben Stiller, Seth Rogen and Tim Allen.

Jon Stewart

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When Jon Stewart jotted down all those “Daily Show” jokes for 16 years, he did it with his left hand.

Babe Ruth


While the sport of baseball has seen its fair share of southpaw superstars (Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, Barry Bonds, Warren Spahn, etc. ), its most famous left-handed slugger is, without question, the Sultan of Swat.

Angelina Jolie

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When Hollywood beauty Angelina Jolie signs autographs for fans, the “Maleficent” star does it with her left hand.

Jennifer Lawrence


Jennifer Lawrence is left-handed, but as this picture makes apparent, Katniss Everdeen is not.

Buzz Aldrin

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When Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. walked on the surface of the Moon during the Apollo 11 lunar mission in 1969, it was one small step for man… one giant leap for lefties.

Jay Leno

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Longtime “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno is a lefty as well.


Theo Wargo/Getty Images

The Real Slim Shady may be underhanded, but Marshall Mathers is left-handed.

Keanu Reeves

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While the characters that made him famous in “Speed” and “The Matrix” trilogy were right-handed, Keanu Reeves is a lefty.

Here, he signs the hood of an Acura at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, proving that he picks up a pen with a different hand than he shoots a gun on-screen.



The charcter of Link from the popular game “Legend of Zelda” is most often pictured wielding a sword with his left hand.

Tina Fey

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“Saturday Night Live” alum Tina Fey is left-handed as well, proving that having physical quirks may better prepare people to execute quirky humor.

Judy Garland


Renowned singer and actress Judy Garland was left-handed, leaving moviegoers everywhere with the impression that, “There’s no place like home,” and no star like a lefty.

Gordon Ramsey

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British Chef Gordon Ramsey is a lefty. And judging from all of his Michelin stars, that dominant left hand may just give him an upper hand in the kitchen.

Mary-Kate Olsen

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In his book “The Puzzle of Left-handedness,” author Rik Smits presents the theory that lefties derive from identical twins. More specifically, because identical twins often have mirror traits, Smits pontificates that lefties are the result of these embryos splitting in the womb.

Perhaps that explains why Mary-Kate Olsen is a lefty and her sister, Ashley, is a righty. Whatever the reason, though, it’s the perfect arrangement for signing autographs next to your twin.

Christina Capatides

Christina Capatides is the director of social media and trending content for CBS News. She is also a senior producer and reporter, focusing on culture and gender equity.

On the Tennis Court, Lefties Can Be ‘Annoying’

As a child, Rafael Nadal hit with two hands from both sides until he was told to choose one side so he would have a single-handed forehand. Although the boy did most things right-handed, he instinctively started playing tennis as a lefty.

With his talent and his tenacity, Nadal likely would have been an all-time great no matter what, but being left-handed might have given him an edge — most notably, his high bouncing serve to a right-hander’s backhand has proved especially challenging for his rival Roger Federer. A win at Roland Garros would give Nadal 21 Grand Slams, one more than Federer. And since Nadal has won the French Open 13 times, including the last four years, he is the heavy favorite again in 2021.

The conventional wisdom is that being left-handed is an advantage in tennis. Lefties naturally hit with a slight side spin and can serve wide to a righty’s backhand in the ad service box on the most crucial points, and right-handed players suddenly find they need to adjust their tactics in rallies after days or weeks of playing only righty opponents. Switching gears during the tournament makes lefties “really annoying” to play, the player Matteo Berrettini said.

“Everybody doesn’t like to play lefties because it takes more thinking,” added Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion and the top lefty on the women’s tour. Even she gets thrown off when facing a fellow southpaw. “It’s a bit weird, because you want to hit to the backhand and suddenly their forehand is there,” she said.

Filip Krajinovic said he faced lefties once every month or two and had trouble with the adjustment. “It’s harder to play a lefty,” he said. “They have a different style of play, and it’s a little harder for me when they play their cross-court forehand high to my backhand, so I have to focus more on that side and really hit it deep cross court.”

There are exceptions, like Cristian Garin, who said: “I really like to play lefties. I think my serve is better against them.”

It is difficult to prove statistically whether lefties truly benefit — most righties would lose to Nadal simply because he is better, and most lefties would have the same fate against Federer or Novak Djokovic. But lefties do attain disproportionate success, especially on the men’s tour where the serve is such a vital weapon.

While lefties are about 10 percent of the world’s population, three of the Top-10 winners of Grand Slams in the Open era are men (Nadal, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe), which does not even count Rod Laver, who won the final four of his 11 majors in the Open era.

In doubles, the four men’s teams with the most Grand Slam wins in the Open era all had one lefty. On the current ATP Tour, there are 15 lefties in the Top 100 and seven in the Top 50. Two of the greatest Grand Slam champions among women — Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles — are lefties, but the 10 lefties in the WTA Top 100 are in balance with the overall demographic.

Most lefties are not Nadal, of course, yet facing a southpaw still requires a little something extra.

“You have to plan for the match differently — there are different spins and different angles you have to play,” said Elena Svitolina, who recently beat the lefties Angelique Kerber and Kvitova back-to-back in Stuttgart, Germany, but then was upset by another lefty, Jil Teichmann, in Madrid.

Some players are more blasé about it then others. Svitolina said the major issue before facing a lefty was practicing return of serve, but Ashleigh Barty said that while she would seek out a lefty in practice before a match against a lefty, years of partnering in doubles with the lefty Casey Dellacqua meant returning “millions of her left-handed serves, so it’s not something that really concerns me.

When Jan-Lennard Struff is not playing in a tournament, he tries mixing in practice against a lefty once a week. Garin’s coach is a lefty, which helps him practice serve returns, but if Garin has a lefty opponent coming up he will seek out another lefty from the draw to practice with or ask the tournament to find a sparring partner.

“It can be difficult to find someone, but you can usually access a hitting partner provided by the tournament,” the player Caspar Ruud said.

Service returns may be the biggest challenge, but Struff said that overall, “You need to adjust your patterns to play lefties.”

Dominik Koepfer, who is a lefty, said, “What I usually do against righties doesn’t work against lefties, so I need different tactics.”

Even as they make adjustments, the players said they tried not to get too caught up in the shift. “You do have to change up your game a little, but you can’t be too frightened to play to their forehand,” Ruud said.

Berrettini said he ultimately wanted to play to his strong suits. “I try playing to the weakest stroke of the opponent, but if I want to serve to the T on the deuce side where it’s a lefty’s forehand, I’m going to trust my weapon,” he said about serving down the middle of the court where the service box lines intersect.

Denis Shapovalov, the highest-ranked men’s left-hander not named Rafa, said, “I just play my game and go for my shots, so it doesn’t really matter, lefty or righty.”

But there are lefties, then there is Nadal, and there is Nadal at Roland Garros, where he has lost only twice. Even for someone as confident as Shapovalov, that can be intimidating. “I’ve never had to play Rafa there, but I imagine it’s not too much fun,” he said.

Krajinovic said he hoped that he would not get assigned to play Nadal at the beginning of the tournament.

“If I see him in the draw I will not be happy,” Krajinovic said.

Koepfer would like the challenge, but only under certain circumstances. “I hope it’s not the first round. I’d like to play righties in the first three rounds before playing Rafa.

For anyone who has the misfortune of matching up with Nadal, Ruud suggested calling Robin Soderling or Djokovic, the only players to have beaten him at Roland Garros, for advice. “And then you just pray he doesn’t have his best day.”

Braves using six left-handed relievers in World Series

ATLANTA — Left-handed pitchers are always in demand. One study found that lefty pitchers make it to the big leagues about three times as frequently as righties. That’s why some parents joke (and we hope they’re joking) about tying their kids’ right arms behind their backs as they learn to play, to improve their odds of one day making millions of dollars as a lefty specialist (the three-batter minimum has only slightly dulled this dream).

But when you look at the bullpen of your National League champion Atlanta Braves, this lean towards lefties is taken to an eye-catching, historic and potentially risky extreme.

With the addition of Tucker Davidson to the World Series roster to replace the injured Charlie Morton in advance of Game 2, Atlanta is now carrying seven lefties overall and an astonishing six in the bullpen — Davidson, Will Smith, Tyler Matzek, A. J. Minter, Drew Smyly and Dylan Lee (with Max Fried as the lone lefty starter).

“We didn’t go into it like we have some series sometimes over the course of the last few years,” manager Brian Snitker said. “It was just kind of … those were the guys that we targeted that were throwing good at the time to put on the club, pretty much.”

Assuming Davidson gets into one of these games (and with the Braves expected to go the bullpen route for Games 4 and 5, that seems likely), Atlanta will become the first World Series team in history to use six lefty relievers.

Before we delve into what that means for the rest of this Series, let’s first acknowledge that lefty reliever usage in this tournament has been quietly building over the past decade, mostly because teams have turned more and more to starters in relief spots.

The 2011 American League champion Texas Rangers became the first team to use five lefties in relief in a single postseason, thanks to starters Derek Holland, C. J. Wilson and Matt Harrison making scattered relief appearances alongside regular relievers Michael Gonzalez and Darren Oliver.

In the decade since, six other teams — including these Braves — have matched that mark (the 2016 Dodgers, ’17 Cubs, ’19 Yankees, ’20 Dodgers and ’20 Padres are also on the list). And two more — the ’18 Dodgers and ’20 Rays — exceeded it, with six lefty relievers apiece, including five in the World Series round.

As with the 2011 Rangers, the ’18 Dodgers goosed their numbers by using lefty starters Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill in emergency relief. Last year’s Rays, with Aaron Loup, Shane McClanahan, José Alvarado, Josh Fleming, Ryan Sherriff and swingman Ryan Yarbrough all pitching relief innings from the left-hand side, are the closest comparable to what Atlanta has aligned here. But even there, the Rays had right-handers Nick Anderson, Diego Castillo and Pete Fairbanks handling many of the more high-leverage assignments, so it’s not really the same thing.

We knew coming into this World Series that Snitker would look to Smith, Matzek and Minter to preserve leads wherever possible, and that’s precisely what happened in Game 1. But the Morton injury has only increased the importance of the ‘pen and its oddly left-oriented alignment.

Obviously, this Astros’ lineup, which had the best weighted runs created plus mark, strikeout rate and runs scored average in MLB this season, is a handful for right-handers and lefties alike.

But in this postseason, Houston has done its best work against southpaws, with a .306/.368/.471 slash and 16 extra-base hits in 190 plate appearances (compared to a .255/.330/.407 slash and 19 extra-base hits in 275 plate appearances against right-handers). And that’s with key right-handed bats Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman slumping of late.

Smith, Matzek and Minter all did their jobs in maintaining a lead in Game 1. It is worth keeping in mind, though, that the two total runs allowed by Minter and Matzek in that tilt doubled their total combined allotment this postseason (Smith remains unscored upon this month).

In Game 2, Snitker turned to Smyly when looking to prevent the Astros from building on a 6-2 lead in the seventh, and, instantly, the right-handed Jose Altuve smacked a solo shot to the Crawford Boxes. It didn’t affect the outcome, but it was a reminder of the danger of being so lefty-reliant against this Astros team.

Between the regular season and postseason this year, Houston has five regulars with OPS marks above .800 against lefties: Yuli Gurriel (.955), Yordan Alvarez (.919), Kyle Tucker (.895), Correa (.832) and Altuve (.805).

You wouldn’t know from those numbers that Tucker and Alvarez bat from the left-hand side. Playing for the platoon advantage against them is a fool’s errand.

Additionally, center-field and pinch-hit option Chas McCormick has an .814 OPS vs. lefties this year. And though the left-handed-hitting Michael Brantley has been nowhere near as productive against lefties (.606 OPS) as righties (.912) in the full year, he’s gone 10-for-29 (. 345 average) against lefties in this postseason. So he’s dangerous, too.

“You’d better have guys that really aren’t matchup guys,” Snitker said of facing the Astros. “And we kind of feel that way with all the lefties that we have, that they’re not matchup guys.”

That’s certainly true of Matzek, who has limited right-handers to a feeble .138/.276/.219 slash this year (regular season and postseason combined). Smith (.185/.276/.380) and Minter (.227/.295/.364) have also been very good against opponents from the opposite side. And though it’s a small sample of 57 at-bats, the same can be said of Davidson (.211/.270/.386).

Smyly’s .261/.326/.459 opponent slash against righties isn’t up to that standard, but it’s better than his .287/.329/.531 slash against fellow southpaws. The jury is out on Lee, who has only faced 14 right-handed batters in the bigs and has been roughed up to the tune of a .286/.286/.643 slash.

Obviously, this is not precisely how the Braves drew up their Series plans. The Morton injury upped the lefty equation. But it will be interesting to see, as this Series continues to evolve, if an Astros team that has generally scorched southpaws this postseason will have the upper — ahem — hand here.

The Left Stuff: Left-Handedness in the Music World

You’ve got to hand it to left-handers: although they make up only 10 percent of the population, they’re well-represented in many fields.

Among their ranks are four of the last six U.S. Presidents, a quarter of all major league baseball players, and entertainment stars ranging from Tom Cruise to Oprah Winfrey to both of Star Trek’s Mr. Spocks (Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto).

The Left-Handed Music World

The left-handed dynamic plays out in the music world in varied and unexpected ways. Although “handedness” is generally defined by which hand a person naturally writes with, many musicians—left-handers and right-handers alike—operate on a spectrum that requires a great deal of dexterity from both hands.

Orchestral string players, for example, must deftly operate a bow with the right hand while the left hand utilizes a different skill set, controlling pitch and vibrato on the fingerboard. For other musicians, such as flutists, the hands are of approximately equal importance and perform one task together, selecting pitches while supporting the instrument’s weight. Variety prevails in the brass section, where trumpet and tuba players operate valves with the right hand, while horn players press their valves with the left.

Pianists, meanwhile, are trained from an early age to play independent musical lines simultaneously. It’s no surprise, then, that numerous left-handers have found a home at the piano keyboard, including some of the most famous talents of the 20th century—Vladimir Horowitz, Arthur Rubinstein and Glenn Gould—along with stars of today such as Daniel Barenboim and Hélène Grimaud, to name a few. There are, in fact, a number of piano concertos written for left hand alone, including one by the late former Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Stanislaw Skrowaczewski composed for pianist Gary Graffman, who plays solely with his left hand due to a permanent injury to his right. (Another well-known pianist who performed with only his left hand, Leon Fleisher, passed away earlier this month at age 92.)

And speaking of Minnesota Orchestra music directors: at least one was left-handed, Antal Dorati, who led the Orchestra from 1949 to 1960. “[Dorati] was left-handed, yet…taught himself to be ambidextrous, and could sign his name with both hands at the same time,” notes his former student, conductor-composer José Serebrier. Like nearly all left-handed orchestral conductors, particularly those working today, Dorati conducted using the same basic techniques as a right-handed conductor—using the right hand to hold the baton and keep time with standard beat patterns, while making additional gestures and cues with the left hand.


Although left-handers have their own specialized scissors and baseball gloves, handedness-specialized musical instruments are comparatively rare. Two notable exceptions are the guitar and the electric bass, which have attracted left-handers who sometimes customize their performance style by reversing the order of the strings or by holding the instrument upside down—allowing them to more easily strum with their dominant hand and change chords like the mirror image of a right-handed player.

By contrast, orchestral string players don’t generally have this option: seated closely together, they must all hold and bow their instruments the same way to avoid running into each other. Percussionists play a menagerie of instruments, but most are not customized for lefties—although left-handed drum set players may position their instruments in a different layout to better match their level of dexterity.


Among the Minnesota Orchestra’s left-handed musicians are Principal Percussion Brian Mount, Co-Principal Bassoon Mark Kelley, Assistant Principal Second Violin Cecilia Belcher and third horn Ellen Dinwiddie Smith. All four took the time to discuss the topic of left-handedness.

Why Are Some People Left-Handed?

Are you right-handed or left-handed? Chances are you’re probably right-handed.

If so, you probably haven’t given a whole lot of thought to “handedness.” If you’re left-handed, chances are you’ve probably given it quite a bit of thought.

Left-handedness — sometimes called “sinistrality” — means you prefer to use your left hand rather than your right hand for routine activities, such as writing. Most people who have studied left-handedness believe that approximately 10 percent of the people in the world are left-handed.

Experts believe this percentage has remained fairly consistent throughout time. Historically, the left side and left-handedness have been considered a negative thing by many cultures.

For example, the Latin word sinistra originally meant “left” but eventually took on the connotations of “evil” or “unlucky.” This connotation lives on today in the form of the English word “sinister.”

These ancient meanings affected subsequent languages. For example, modern European languages, as well as English, define the word “right” as “correct.” “Right” is also often associated with the concepts of authority and justice.

One popular slang term for left-handers is “southpaw.” This term originated in the sport of baseball.

Because most baseball fields are aligned such that pitchers face west, left-handed pitchers would throw the ball with their hand on the south side — their “south paw.” If you follow baseball, you probably have heard of several famous “southpaw” pitchers, including Randy Johnson, Sandy Koufax, Whitey Ford and Steve Carlton.

Why most people are right-handed and only some are left-handed remains a bit of a mystery. Since scientists have noticed that left-handedness tends to run in families, it’s assumed that left-handedness has a genetic component to it. In other words, left-handers are born that way.

In 2007, scientists discovered a gene that appears to be related to left-handedness. However, researchers are quick to point out that it’s a complex issue and no definite conclusions can be reached yet.

Scientists continue to study handedness. Some believe that rather than looking at handedness as an either-or question — either right or left — it may be better to think of handedness as a spectrum.

Some people may be very strongly right-handed or left-handed, while others may be in between these extremes and have a certain level of comfort with both hands.

At 10 percent of the population, left-handers are definitely a minority. As a minority, left-handers face certain issues that most of us never think about.

For example, most everyday items, such as scissors, cameras, can openers, rulers, computer mice and watches, are mass-produced for right-handed users. Left-handers often have trouble using these objects.

Depending on the object, this trouble can be hazardous to their health. For example, most power tools are made for right-handed users. Left-handers who have trouble with such tools can find themselves in a dangerous situation in a hurry!

Luckily, there are now more manufacturers who make special left-handed versions of many items. Left-handers often have to order these specialty items through catalogs or websites.

The Righties and Lefties of Team USA

During the 2021 USA Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, each athlete signed a drum to signify becoming an official member of the Tokyo Olympic Team. While watching this monumental moment, some may have just considered this a right of passage. But Swimming World was curious to investigate:  How many righties and lefties are there on Team USA?

Well, there are 45 “righties” and 7 “lefties” – 3 of those 52 athletes consider themselves ambidextrous! Here is the breakdown:

Righties (Men)

  1. Michael Andrew
  2. Zach Apple
  3. Bowe Becker
  4. Gunnar Bentz
  5. Michael Brinegar
  6. Patrick Callan
  7. Caeleb Dressel
  8. Nic Fink
  9. Bobby Finke
  10. Townley Haas
  11. Zach Harting
  12. Chase Kalisz
  13. Drew Kibler
  14. Jay Litherland
  15. Bryce Mefford
  16. Jake Mitchell
  17. Blake Pieroni 
  18. Tom Shields
  19. Jordan Wilimovsky
  20. Andrew Wilson

Righties (Women)

  1. Haley Anderson**
  2. Phoebe Bacon**
  3. Erika Brown
  4. Claire Curzan
  5. Catie DeLoof
  6. Kate Douglass
  7. Hali Flickinger
  8. Brooke Forde
  9. Katie Grimes
  10. Natalie Hinds
  11. Torri Huske
  12. Lydia Jacoby
  13. Lilly King
  14. Katie Ledecky
  15. Paige Madden
  16. Simone Manuel
  17. Katie McLaughlin
  18. Allison Schmitt
  19. Bella Sims
  20. Olivia Smoliga
  21. Ashley Twichell
  22. Alex Walsh
  23. Abbey Weitzeil
  24. Emma Weyant
  25. Rhyan White

Lefties (Men)

  1. Hunter Armstrong
  2. Brooks Curry
  3. Ryan Murphy**
  4. Kieran Smith

Lefties (Women)

  1. Annie Lazor
  2. Regan Smith
  3. Erica Sullivan


Someone who is ambidextrous is able to use both their right and left hand equally as well.

•Phoebe Bacon

“I usually write with my right hand but I’m ambidextrous!”

•Haley Anderson

“I write with my right and do most things with my right, but throw and do sports stuff with my left.”

•Ryan Murphy

“It depends what I’m doing, but I write lefty! I basically throw, write, kick with left. But if I’m holding something, I’m a righty. So I golf and bat right.”

Note: All findings are from watching the drum signing and/or confirmed by the athletes themselves. Whether Team USA Tokyo Olympian Andrew Seliskar is a righty or lefty is unknown.

~Are you right-handed, left-handed, or ambidextrous?~



Science and Life // Illustrations

Science and Life // Illustrations

Science and Life // Illustrations

About 10% of the world’s population are not like the rest: they are left-handed. Moreover, their difference is not just a mirror image. Whereas right-handers often combine the leading right hand with the leading right eye and the leading right ear, left-handers have much more varied combinations.Even their brains are arranged somewhat differently than that of the right-handed majority, and this applies, as it turned out, not only to the dominance of the right (and not left) hemisphere, but in general to the principles of functional organization.

In the laboratory of general and clinical electrophysiology of the human brain of the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, under the guidance of Doctor of Biological Sciences L.A. Zhavoronkova, the character of interhemispheric asymmetry of the brain of right-handers and left-handers was studied. For this, encephalograms were recorded from the subjects in different states, recording the bioelectrical activity of different areas of the cerebral cortex.

It turned out, for example, that in a state of calm wakefulness, the cerebral hemispheres in right-handers work more synchronously than in left-handers, and when moving the leading hand, the brain of right-handers is activated locally in the left (leading) hemisphere, while in left-handers – in both. The encephalogram of right-handers and left-handers also changed in different ways when falling asleep.

In another experiment, the subjects first sat with their eyes closed, and when they opened them, a light signal flashed in front of them, on which they had to fix their gaze.In right-handers, the effect of this signal disturbed the synchronicity in the work of the hemispheres, while in left-handers the picture changed insignificantly.

It seems that left-handers do not have such a clear distribution of roles between the regions of the cerebral cortex, and this is precisely what affects its work during the transition from one functional state to another (for example, from wakefulness to sleep). Scientists believe that the cortex and subcortical structures in right-handers to a large extent mutually suppress each other, while in left-handers, on the contrary, they are mutually activated.This leads to both the disadvantages and advantages of “left-handedness”. So, for example, the cortex of left-handers is less able to suppress epileptic activity, and this, apparently, explains the fact that among them there is a much larger percentage of epileptics than among the human population in general.

On the other hand, the functional organization of the brain of left-handers can contribute to the development of creative abilities, and it is not surprising that there are many brilliant musicians, architects, and artists among them. As an example, we can recall Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Charlie Chaplin, as well as the famous Leskovsky Lefty.

And as a result of joint work with the staff of the N.N.Burdenko Institute of Neurosurgery of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences – professors T.A.Dobrokhotova and N.N. His activity after a traumatic brain injury is restored more easily than in right-handers. Less specialization promotes the development of compensatory processes, and healthy areas of the brain take over the functions of the damaged ones.

According to L.A. Zhavoronkova, left-handers are no worse and no better than right-handers – they are just different.Meanwhile, our “right world” is not convenient for them: everything is the other way around, everything is on the other side. But until he turned his face to their problems, did not make their life more comfortable, they are forced to adapt to him.

Lefties. Life the other way. Who is smarter – right-handed or left-handed? :: TV Center

In the Middle Ages, people who did everything with their left hand were burned at the stake. In the modern world, they tried to forcibly treat them. And yet, every year there are more and more left-handers.According to statistics, today there are twice as many of them than twenty years ago. And according to scientists’ forecasts, by 2020 their number on Earth will exceed one billion.

Left-handed were Leonardo da Vinci, Lewis Carroll, Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Archimedes, Mikhail Lomonosov, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Ivan Pavlov. These people did not just go down in history, they created it! So, Christopher Columbus discovered new countries, and Napoleon, Bismarck and Churchill redrawn the map of the world.Many literary masterpieces by Leo Tolstoy, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Johann Goethe, Hans Christian Andersen, Franz Kafka and Herbert Wells were written with the left hand. However, the life of a left-hander is not as fabulous as it might seem.

– I was undeservedly offended and insulted precisely because I had the wrong hand, – actor Viktor Sukhorukov shares his memories. – And the first one who offended and insulted me was my mother. Being left-handed herself, she beat me for it …

It used to be thought that left-handedness was an anomaly, and you had to get rid of it.Parents and teachers tried to retrain many endowed with this gift in childhood. Until 1986, a special program for retraining left-handers, starting in kindergarten, worked in the USSR. No one thought that the retraining of such children led to tragic consequences: their natural connections between the cerebral hemispheres were broken, neuroses and stress began. “I grieved, I suffered, I cried, I did not know what to do with this,” Sukhorukov admits.

Where do left-handers come from? Some peoples considered them the descendants of god-like aliens.But scientists were able to read the gene that makes its owner different from most. It turns out that the “turn to the left” begins in the womb!

Are you sure you are 100% right-handed? The authors of the documentary advise you to test yourself by performing several hand manipulations. For example, by crossing your arms over your chest in the “Napoleon Pose” you can find out which hand is leading.

Who is smarter – right-handed or left-handed? Numerous tests have proven that the intelligence of the latter is above normal.However, the inability of little left-handers to concentrate often does not lead to the result that we would like. This is because they are often immersed in their inner experiences and dreams and look like they are not of this world. There are many slow-witted among them, although the results of these long reflections are sometimes striking in their originality. Because of poorly developing spatial representations, left-handed children often have problems with arithmetic. Popular artist Maxim Averin admits that, despite his excellent memory, he cannot remember mobile numbers and everything related to numbers.

Lefties cannot work with many tools and precision machine tools, it is difficult for them to become military personnel. Maksim Averin recalls: “It was a disaster for me when they said:” Nale-vo! “I turned to the right. Everyone thought that I was kidding, but I was just confused.” But in creativity, science and sports, it is difficult for right-handed people to compete with left-handed ones. Hockey player Wayne Gretzky, jumper Elena Isinbaeva, footballers Pele and Diego Maradona remained practically invincible. Psychologist Mikhail Vinogradov added his drop of ointment: it turns out that the percentage of serial killers among left-handers is noticeably higher than among right-handed people.How can this be explained?

Today there is a truce between left-handers and right-handers. But while they learn to coexist with each other, there is a latent evolutionary struggle for primacy in nature. And left-handers have an advantage here: their complex brains provide great opportunities for intuitive cognition and fantastic adaptation. Therefore, the world needs them. They – leaders, rebels, geniuses and reformers – move civilization forward. They are called the creators of evolution.

Bernard Battalova

90,000 This world is made for right-handers: here are 10 things that will drive any left-hander crazy

“Chairs combined with desks, and when the table is attached exactly on the right side” – sabrepeppergel


“Scissors are clearly not meant for left-handers: they literally hurt to use, and sometimes they just don’t cut because the blades keep coming apart.” – Haventyouheard3


“Some pans have a spout to drain off the sauce, and it’s usually on the wrong side.Also circles, on which the image is visible only if you hold them in your right hand “, – BetelJio


“The need to plan in advance where to sit at the table so as not to bump into elbows with other people” – kellieander


“The reaction“ Oh my God, are you left-handed ?! ”from people who notice that you are writing with the other hand. Like it’s some kind of magic or something. Although, perhaps they really think so: when I was a child in the 1980s, my teacher beat me on the arm and forced me to write with my right, because “being left-handed is a sin.”And it was not a religious school. ”- Tilas


“Workplace. And I’m not just talking about the office, but about any place where you need to do something. Fast food workers have the space to lean only with the elbow of their right hand; if you are doing something important, it is also difficult to punch the employee’s card, because the device is made for right-handers “, – Rud_Fucker


“The fact that ink is constantly spreading across the palms and pages, because the left-hander rests his hand on what has just been written.Some pens fit, but I couldn’t use gel or fountain pens at school. “- Papaye92


“ATMs and terminals are often set up specifically for the right hand: there is a terminal for cards with magnetic stripe on the right, and in stores they are often placed at such an angle that it is incredibly difficult to use them with the left hand. And the spring from the desk pen is too short to write with your left hand. Why the hell did you make a handle that you can only hold in your right? ” – schnit123


“On measuring cups, the graduations are usually on the side facing you when you grip the handle on the right.So I, left-handed, had to learn to read them backwards. “- redgallowglass


“Rotation clockwise and counterclockwise. For us, left-handers, left-handed rotation seems much more natural, at least for me. ” Congratulations on the Day of the Left Handed

International Day of the Left-hander 2020 is celebrated on 13 August.This year it is Thursday.

The holiday is quite young: it was founded in 1992, the “parent” was the British Left-Handed Club.

There are few left-handers in the world. If we talk about what percentage of left-handers in the world – then there are only 10% of all people in the world. At the same time, in the list of “Famous Lefties” you can find such outstanding names as Leonardo da Vinci and Einstein, Caesar and Alexander the Great, Beethoven, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Read alsoLefty Day: what a holiday today is August 13, signs, name day

Features of left-handers

They perceive human speech faster.Therefore, there are many polyglots among them.

These are very artistic people, since they have more developed divergent thinking (that is, they are able to simultaneously generate several solutions at once).

Probably, it was these talents that helped them successfully survive the Middle Ages, when they were hunted by the Inquisition, since left-handers were considered “servants of Satan.”

Day of the Left – congratulations in prose in your own words, in poetry and SMS

Today is the International Day of the Left. Lefties are creative people with a strong character.This is confirmed by examples among famous people – world politicians, writers, musicians, actors and directors. We wish all left-handers to achieve all their plans and success in achieving their goal!


They say that left-handers are creators,

Clever and well done!

Happy left-handed day then you,

Be the best in everything, always!


A divine spark of talent and originality burns in you, and the fact that you are left-handed only proves it. Let this feature always help you to be a person who has his own position and his own view on any issue, and your life will be the most pleasant exception to all general rules.Happy Lefties Day!


Let luck and fate smile at all left-handers! Let your talent unfold and the stars accompany your success! We sincerely congratulate you on International Left-Handed Day!


Lefty nature of creativity, intelligence,

Fate gave them incredible talent.

Always attentive, compliant, kind,

Purposeful in life and wise.

I want to congratulate you on the holiday of left-handers,

Wish you luck, happiness, warmth in everything.

So that your talent is admired in summer and winter.

May luck and success always be with you.


I congratulate you, my dear left-hander, on an amazing day – the day of all left-handers. And on this day I am ready to tell the whole world that of all left-handers you are the most talented, the most capable, the most creative person. I wish you victories, understanding, recognition and love: remember, your deed is just, though done with your left hand.


It happened for a reason,

What God did to the left:

After all, you immediately distinguished yourself,

From the very first lines of children.

You are not like others –

You choose a different path.

So let it be in life too

Everything will be wrong with you:

All the problems that torment us,

Let them bypass you,

And, not like everyone else, but better

Your fate will be formed!


Such people are kept by the planet,

It simply protects them,

Let’s say, it’s not casual all this –

There are few such people, here.

Lefties have a holiday today,

Certainly, we will tell them,

Let the working hand

Success will give forever.

International Day of Lefties – Pictures and Cards

Lefties. How to achieve harmony with the “right” world

Every other person is left-handed ?!

Lefty in the everyday sense is that child or adult who writes and also draws and prefers to perform some actions with his left hand. Such people have been known to mankind since time immemorial. However, in fact, left-handedness is not limited to just left-handedness! There are also left-footedness, left-earedness, left-eyedness – that is, dominance and preference in the work and some actions of the left paired organs of the human body.However, until the last decades of the 20th century, neither doctors nor ordinary people paid attention to all this – most likely because they are not as conspicuous as writing with the left, and not the generally accepted right hand.

The same individual characteristics depend on the dominance of one or another hemisphere of the brain. In this case, a cross process occurs: the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right half of the human body – and vice versa. That is, in right-handers, the left side of the brain dominates in the body.And for left-handers, paradoxically, the right one.

And even in recent years, scientists began to take into account the degree of dominance of both hemispheres – strongly pronounced (in this case, we will have a classic one hundred percent right-hander or a pronounced left-hander) and weakly expressed (in this case, a person may have only one or two signs of left-handedness – for example, the dominant left eye and the left ear with the dominant right hand, etc.).

There are quite a few on our planet and those whose cerebral hemispheres have, as it were, entered into a “gentlemen’s agreement” and control the body on equal terms – or almost on an equal footing.Such people, they are called ambidextrous, are equally good at using both paired organs: both hands, both legs, eyes, ears. If one of the cerebral hemispheres nevertheless “takes over” a little, such an ambidextrous person will have signs of right-handedness / left-handedness in some of the pairs of organs.

There are not many ambidextra on Earth, but also a lot – as statistics show, about 6–8% of the population of our planet. Unfortunately, none of the scientists, either in Russia or in the world, has been deliberately engaged in the identification and study of ambidextra, therefore, I personally do not undertake to vouch for the reliability of this figure, although it is approximately the same for a number of researchers.But the whole problem is that the identification and study of ambidextra has always been carried out, to put it mildly, “in passing.” But, for example, the authoritative neuropsychologist E. D. Khomskaya and a number of other researchers insist that no less than a quarter of the population is ambidextrous in the human population! And in a number of groups, their number reaches almost half of the total. We will talk in more detail about ambidextrous in the chapter “Where our speech lurks” and in a special chapter dedicated to these mysterious inhabitants of our planet.

As classic “one hundred percent” right-handers, most doctors recognize those people who write and perform most actions, especially delicate and complex ones, with their right hand, in addition, put the phone receiver to their right ear. They also have a leading right eye (how to determine which of the eyes is leading, we will talk a little later), plus a leading right leg (that is, it is a jogging leg when jumping, it is she who is preferred for scoring goals for football players, etc.).

Those in whom at least one of these signs has a mirror difference (for example, with right-handedness, left-handedness is present, or / and left-eyed, left-footedness), most researchers prefer to collectively call left-handers – respectively, more or less pronounced.Although other experts insist on distinguishing between weakly expressed left-handers, ambidextrous and strongly expressed left-handers in this one large and rather indistinct-looking chaotic “heap” of people very different in their physical and mental characteristics.

Nevertheless, according to the assessment of the majority of researchers, in the aggregate of such “hidden” left-handers, along with explicit left-handers (that is, left-handed) scientists (for example, Moscow doctors from the Burdenko Institute T.A. Dobrokhotov and N.N.Bragin) in their studies among healthy people counted 62%! That is, more than half of healthy people! True, then the researchers themselves were frightened by the resulting picture and hastened to make a reservation: let’s still exclude from this final statistics those who have only one sign of left-handedness (left-handedness, left-handedness, left-footedness) – they say, these are little-expressed left-handers. It still turns out to be 49%! That is, left-handers are at least half of humanity! And even more, as other researchers insist – for example, T.K.Chernaenko and B.V. Blinov! A.V. Moskvin also considers half of the population of our planet to be left-handed, and the other half right-handed. FM Gasimov insists that 59% of the total population is left-handed on Earth. The famous scientist V.V. Arshavsky noted manifestations of left-handedness in 73% of children under 9 years old. According to the evolutionary theory of asymmetry of V.A. Geodakyan, left-handedness is not a pathology, but the same variant of the norm as right-handedness. And when primatologists studied the behavior of our closest relatives (genes of primates and humans are 99% identical) in their natural habitat, they found that among chimpanzees there are also left-handed left-handers: 50% of them performed the same task with their right hand, and 50 % left.Curiously, most of the captive-born primates are right-handed. Perhaps this is due to communication with people and imitation of them, or / and voluntary-involuntary compulsion to take objects in the right hand.

Researchers E. D. Khomskaya, I. V. Efimova, E. V. Budyka, E. V. Enikolopova tested students of a number of Moscow universities: among students of Moscow State University, “pure” right-handers accounted for 33% (men) and 19% ( women). Most of the subjects were right-handed, weakly right-handed (that is, partially left-handed), of whom 43% were men and 47% were women.At the same time, this sample had a relatively large number of ambidexters (16% of men and 26% of women), as well as partial left-handed left-handers and clearly pronounced left-handers (8% in total for men and women).

Among the students of the Moscow Conservatory, the percentage of “pure” right-handers among these specialists is reduced to 22% (men) and to 10% (women). There are significantly fewer right-handed, weakly expressed right-handers with partial manifestations of left-handedness (31% each among the subjects of both sexes). However, the number of ambidexters is even higher than among students of Moscow State University, namely, 26% of men and 46% of women.It also turned out that more left-handed and strongly expressed left-handers study at the conservatory: 21% of men and 13% of women. Among the representatives of technical professions and organizers of production (chief engineers, directors of nuclear power plants are mostly men), the same scientists have approximately the same number of “pure” right-handers as among students of Moscow State University (31%), however, there are significantly more right-handed, weakly expressed left-handers (54% ), but ambidexters are two times less (9%), and there were fewer left-handed people (6%).

At the end of their research work, the aforementioned authors, with bursting indignation, say that their data differ from those of N.Bragina and T. Dobrokhotova (which the latter very harshly impose on the public as some kind of unshakable given): there are actually much more partial left-handers, strongly expressed left-handers and ambidextra!

Even if we count only left-handed people (that is, single out only one, the most noticeable sign of left-handedness out of four), such people make up 10-14% (according to various estimates) of the inhabitants of European countries, Australia and America. In some regions, there are fewer of them – for example, in the Congo, only 5% of left-handed people are found in relation to the entire population.In others, there are more of them – for example, it turned out that 34% of the inhabitants of Taimyr have the left hand as the leading one. If we take the global picture, 90,228 more than half of the world’s population 90,229 are left-handed to one degree or another! Thus, according to research data, there are 5% more people with only one (any of the four) signs of left-handedness on our planet than “pure” 100% right-handers! And the latter make up about 38% of the population – that is, only about a third.

However, people still live according to the old dense laws, forcing all such dissimilar and different people to adapt to those rules that are convenient for “one hundred percent” right-handers who make up a minority of the population.Some first steps have already been taken – for example, in a number of countries under pressure from associations of left-handers (for example, in Brazil there are more than 13 million left-handers, in the United States there are more than 28 million, and many of them are members of such associations, determined to defend their legal rights) began to produce sewing machines, scissors, cameras and even dental equipment for left-handed people. However, many devices, from the simple to the most complex (such as the device of cars, airplanes, computers, etc.), are still produced only for right-handed people.Therefore, left-handers experience everyday stress in their lives and even already unnoticeable for many of them: a card and a token must be lowered into the access machine in the metro with the right hand, it is indecent to hold a spoon in the left hand, it is the right hand that should be given when shaking hands, etc. And that’s nothing! But what about left-handed pilots who need to navigate very quickly through the mass of sophisticated instruments designed specifically for the classic 100% right-hander? They constantly work with overload, overwork.It is not surprising, therefore, that among left-handed pilots there are frequent neuroses, diseases on a nervous basis due to constant overstrain of the nervous system (for example, stomach ulcers). It is the left-handed pilots who make the most mistakes, leading to accidents.

And all right, instruments – after all, it is not so easy to move the heavy and clumsy flywheel of industrial production by very expensive equipment. But how can one explain the completely egregious cases when postal worker Robert Greene from Seattle, American, was forced by his superiors to sort letters with his right hand (as a result of a long trial, Greene still managed to get permission to sort the mail as he liked), when left-handed policeman Franklin Winbourne from the town of Rivers , Missouri (USA) was fired from service just because he refused to wear a holster on the right.Meanwhile, when a police officer has to neutralize a criminal, every second counts! Now imagine a picture: a left-handed policeman awkwardly pulls out a pistol from an uncomfortable side for him, then puts it in the hand that will not miss … if he was still alive by that time or if the criminal had not escaped by that time. A similar story with the sad ending recently happened in the Russian army: in one of the programs dedicated to left-handed people, I saw a mother speaking about how the commander forced her left-handed son to throw grenades with his right, “like everyone else.”At the exercises, the young man mechanically, involuntarily, not realizing what he was doing, pulled the pin (as expected) … and then shifted the grenade to his left hand from his right – it was just that it was more convenient for him to throw. A second, one second delay – but in the end the young man was left without an arm.

And how many bitter tears are shed by millions of left-handed kids around the world when teachers and parents hit them on the “wrong” hand every day while eating, writing and even drawing! What colossal stress they are under! (In the corresponding chapter, we will consider in detail what sad consequences and numerous diseases this leads to.Moreover, you can argue, dear parents, that you did not even suspect that stuttering, enuresis, myopia and asthma in your child are caused precisely by retraining).

But enough emotion. Let’s now figure out why the world is so unfair to left-handed people.

Why is the world so unfair to left-handed people

Such an essentially noble religion as Christianity played a huge role in this. However, the Bible says: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory … and the nations gather before him, he will separate one from the other, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and puts the sheep on his right side and the goats on his left.Then the King will say to those on his right side: come, blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world … Then he will also say to those on the left side: go from me, damned, into eternal fire … ” that is associated with the left hand, began to be considered something bad, unclean, “from the evil one.”

There is a hypothesis that initially one hundred percent obvious left-handers in Europe were half of the population, as in some wild tribes of the Amazon, Africa and some peoples of Siberia and the Far North, where no one cares about this.But as a result of the two thousand years of genocide in Christian countries, the number of left-handers greatly decreased both by natural selection (people were suspicious of left-handed brides and grooms, not wanting to get involved with them), and artificially (it is known that left-handedness is often inherited genetically – between so in the Middle Ages, a huge number of left-handers in Europe were burned at the stake).

Islam, the youngest of the world’s religions, followed Christianity by driving left-handers into the “wrong”.For example, eating with the left hand of the followers of this religion is considered indecent.

But! In ancient times, people did not yet know that the left hemisphere of the brain was in charge of the right hand, and vice versa. But as a result, it turns out (if we proceed from the same dubious postulates) that it is the left-handers who are the true righteous by birth, since it is their brain that is arranged in the most correct way!

Meanwhile, in Japan, one of the most highly developed countries in the world, both technically and spiritually, left-handers were not despised or feared, but on the contrary, they were always highly respected: they are considered especially skillful people there.However, “left-handed” in Russian means a rare master craftsman. But not without some kind of foolishness, funny eccentricity. And all this “left-handed money”, “got up from his left foot” … And yet Orthodoxy was quite loyal to left-handers (although the same Peter the First forbade left-handed people to testify in court, like red-haired ones).

At the same time, the Andean peoples have always believed that left-handers have special spiritual abilities, including healing.

But in Western Europe, left-handers did not stand on ceremony.So, in English, as in Russian and in many European languages, “right” means “correct”, and “left”, respectively, is the opposite. “Left-handed” (left-handed), in addition to its immediate meaning, also means “awkward”, “doubtful”. In French, gauche is not only leftist, but also “awkward”. The Italian word mancino, in addition to left-handedness, means “dishonest.” And similar analogies are present in other European languages.

For a long time, even scientists did not lag behind the narrow-minded inhabitants.So, according to the Italian psychiatrist and criminalist C. Lombroso, left-handedness is accompanied by a tendency to crime. E. Stier in 1911 wrote about left-handers as an endangered defective part of the population, which is practically incapable of any achievements in the social sphere. In 1920, G. Gordon, having examined several pairs of twins, one of whom is left-handed and the other right-handed, comes to the conclusion: “Lefties are more nervous, shorter, and lag behind in development”. Researcher V. Kapustin in 1924, having examined several small patients of a neuropsychiatric boarding school, came to the conclusion that “among left-handers there may be children who are quite normal in all respects, but most often – in about 3/4 of cases – a left-handed person is still a degenerate” etc.d.

The situation has changed radically only in the last three decades. Modern researchers in different countries admire the way the brains of healthy left-handers work and this gives them a number of valuable advantages (more on this later). But not so long ago, would-be scientists arrogantly believed left-handedness was just a consequence of birth trauma (without even bothering to investigate the issue at least minimally!), And all left-handers, with the exception of Leonardo da Vinci, and even a couple of world-renowned left-handed geniuses, were feeble-minded and worthless people.At the same time, their generalizations can only be called risky: for example, the already mentioned N. Bragina and T. Dobrokhotova, who are tacitly considered the leading experts on left-handers in Russia, actually examined only a hundred healthy left-handers. And also a couple of dozen left-handers suffering from various neuropsychiatric ailments (neuroses, brain damage). Then they made a conclusion, striking in their aplomb: there are no pure one hundred percent left-handers (that is, those who have the leading left hand, plus the left leg, eyes, ear).And that’s only because they didn’t find them in this tiny hundred healthy left-handers.

Fortunately, other researchers, for example the already mentioned T. Chernayenko and B. Blinov, met “absolute” left-handers and recognized them as absolutely normal from all points of view (although, of course, with their own individual mental characteristics, like all people on

The same Dobrokhotova and Bragina made a conclusion (based on a study of 33 (total!) patients with neuroses, of which 13 are right-handed, and only 7 are strongly left-handed, and none of them was not left-handed) that left-handers are more prone to neuroticism.And in their opinion, weakly expressed left-handers (or weakly expressed right-handers – as you like) are most susceptible to neurotization – and those of them who have right-handedness and left-handedness of sensory organs (eyes, ears) and motor organs (legs, arms) are different. But there are millions of left-handers on earth, and for serious conclusions that can be trusted, it is necessary to study at least several thousand people.

A number of researchers also believe that left-handers are more likely to develop psychopathic disorders, schizophrenia (left-handers among such patients 56%), epilepsy (in such adult patients, left-handedness occurs more often 1.6 times, ambidexterity 2.5 times.Moreover, 75% of patients with epilepsy have familial left-handedness). Possible reasons for this? The same as with the appearance of neuroses in left-handers, especially frequent in children: forced retraining, and then the whole life as chronic stress in a world adapted exclusively for one hundred percent right-handers. Obviously, not everyone can handle this.

And also Dobrokhotova and Bragin, mentioning several dozen well-known names of left-handed geniuses, as well as famous historical left-handers who influenced the fate of the world, made another paradoxical conclusion: after all, the leading role in history, science and culture belongs to right-handers (We will deal with this contradictory statement in more detail later, in the chapter “Ingenious left-handers”).

However, other modern researchers insist on a different point of view: there have always been fewer left-handers than right-handers, they faced numerous obstacles, their life was a continuous stress. At the same time, the percentage of left-handed people among talented people known to the whole world is much higher than among ordinary people.

Also, modern researchers of left-handedness agree on one thing: the number of left-handers on Earth is not decreasing, but growing. For example, in Australia, according to statistics in 1980, there were only 2% left-handed from the total population of the country.And after only 4 decades, there were more than 13% of them. In England, more than 12% of the population under the age of 24 is left-handed compared to the age group over 50. In the United States, more than 15% are left-handed people under 30, while 6% are over 60. A study in Norway found that 15% of young people are left-handed, but only 1.7% among people over 80. A similar picture is observed in other countries, in particular, ours. So, even a couple of decades ago, they talked about 6-9% of left-handed Russians in relation to the entire population.Now we are talking about at least 10-12%! And these are only left-handed people, that is, only one of the four indicators of left-handedness was taken into account and recorded.

Why is the number of left-handers steadily increasing all over the world? The reasons are simple: with the disappearance in some countries and the weakening in others of the centuries-old genocide and discrimination, some left-handers have ceased to hide their natural characteristics. And also, since modern society as a whole is more liberal towards left-handers, right-handers have become more willing to marry those who used to be pariahs simply because of their dominant hand – which means that the number of children with genetically determined left-handedness has increased.

You probably already guessed – yes, I am also left-handed. Why did I take this book? Because each of us, left-handed and ambidextrous, partial or strongly expressed, can tell a lot of bitter episodes from our own biography – how their essence was raped by parents, teachers, how then health problems began because of this, etc. As in adolescence, we experienced those problems that there was simply no one to talk about, and we even more unbearably felt the loneliness so acute for any teenager from our dissimilarity to others.Fortunately, over the years, I, like many of those reading this book, have managed to overcome the obstacles that life has erected in front of me. Or rather, “kind” adults who wanted to make me “like everyone else.” But through what thorns I had to break through, what health problems to get and what complexes!

As an adult, I always looked with pain at left-handed children and their suffering. Lefties are naturally endowed with many talents (you will learn more about this later in the relevant chapters), but their strengths are often driven into abysses, from which it will be very difficult to extract them back.But the “left-handed”, willingly or unwillingly, are forced to mock their own nature every day. Actually, this book is for them, modern little left-handers. But it is also for those adults who, having experienced this in childhood, still ask themselves the question from time to time – why am I not like everyone else? Is this good or bad?

The advantage of my book is that is the first work on left-handers written by left-handers, not right-handers. In addition, it is not written in abstruse terms, which can only be penetrated by a rare amateur masochist (those who are curious can turn to, at least, the same work by Bragina and Dobrokhotova “Lefty”.I wish you success!), But in an accessible language for everyone, explaining what, why and why.

Before writing this book, I studied all the scientific works about left-handers that I could find, for the most objective coverage of the issue. And my consultants were specialists from the Russian Institute of the Human Brain. I would also like to express my gratitude for the information provided and for the patience in answering my countless questions to Olga Petrovna Drochenko, Senior Researcher, Candidate of Biological Sciences from the St. Petersburg Institute of Evolutionary Physiology (Laboratory of Brain Asymmetry).

How many left-handers in the world. The number of left-handed people on Earth is decreasing. And how is that

Left-handers have always been harassed by right-handed people for being “abnormal”. In many beliefs and religions, left-handers were considered clumsy and inept, as well as mean, malicious and hypocritical. In Latin, dexter means right, it is also healing, and sinister – left and pernicious. In the languages ​​of other peoples, the left hand is called dishonest, deceitful and vile, as opposed to the right hand – infallible, pure and healing.How long has left-handedness been considered a vice? It is believed that the dividing line was the picture of the Last Judgment in the Gospel of Matthew, which legitimized the right and put the left out of bounds.

“Then the King will say to those who are on His right side:” Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world … eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels … “.

Left-handers are still ignored and subject to, one might say, cultural pressure.Examples? Have you ever wondered why it is customary for us to give our right hand when greeting, why the crown on the wristwatch is on the right, the pipes in the telephone booths hang on the right, the slot for the travel card in the metro turnstiles is on the right, the working tools are for the right hand, the release button is at cameras on the right, handles at the doors, and those are placed so that right-handers are comfortable, but left-handed people are not? And why do we say “go to the left”, “left earnings”, “get up from the left foot”, etc.

Scientists believe that in ancient times mankind was left-handed.The reasons for the prevailing right-handedness exist at the level of hypotheses. One of them says that during the restless times, representing a series of endless hand-to-hand wars, where the shield and the sword were the main ones, the left-handers were simply exterminated, because they held the sword in their left hand, and the shield in their right, unable to protect the left half of their chest. where the heart is. However, the most likely reason for the decrease in the number of left-handers is the gradual activation of the role of the left hemisphere.

Man is designed in such a way that the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right half of the body, and the right one controls the left.At the same time, although the hemispheres are outwardly similar and work together, they think and live differently. This is called interhemispheric asymmetry.

The ancient left-handed man had a more active right hemisphere, which is characterized by unconscious instinctive actions, flair and intuition, figurative memory, a deep sense of rhythm, colors, sounds, smells, touches, good orientation in space. With the appearance of signs of civilization, many of the above human properties remained unclaimed and they began to be replaced by the more necessary functions of the left hemisphere controlling the right hand, such as conscious concrete thinking, mathematical and analytical abilities, speech, reading and writing, the ability to purposeful and differentiated actions.Having imperceptibly lost the sixth sense, the child of nature gradually turned into a child of progress with an active left hemisphere and an active right hand. Right-handedness, reinforced by religious and cultural traditions, began to dominate, and left-handed, awkward and unadapted, cornered.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, scientists unanimously considered left-handers to be degenerates, and the right hemisphere was a minor, small hemisphere of the brain. In confirmation, left-handers showed poor adaptability to life, instability and fragility of mental activity.Today it is still believed that left-handedness is the result of brain dysfunction. But let’s not stubbornly search for pathological signs. It is too easy to get away from the truth, falling into a fight for a normal person and starting to mechanically weed out redheads, hunchbacks, lame, cross-eyed, pockmarked, left-handed, etc.

Historical parallelism suggests itself. Witch hunts and bonfires do no honor to homo sapiens.

Let’s better understand what kind of people they are and what is their role in the life of mankind (maybe not yet played).And discarding the cautious negative attitude, we will understand that they are not wrong, but simply not right.

Lefties were: Aristotle, Tiberius, Caesar, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Alexander the Great, Jeanne D “Ark, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Newton, I.P. Pavlov, N.S. Leskov, D.C. Maxwell, Chaplin, L. Carroll, P. Picasso. Of today’s notable left-handers, we will name Ronald Reagan, Paul McCartney, Bruce Willis, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, David Duchovny. Comments are superfluous. Lefties have more than proven their usefulness.

Among them there are many architects, artists and music nts. Left-handed boxers are known for their strengths, as are fencers and tennis players. In the emotional sphere, left-handers have their own characteristics: they are unrestrained, often timid, impressionable, conscientious, sensual and much more pessimistic than right-handers and ambidexters (a special type of people who are equally good at using both the right and left hand. There are such among us – everyone fifth).

Nature has endowed left-handers with unusual (in the opinion of right-handers) properties.

They are able to perceive sounds and intonations in a different way, subtly isolating what right-handers cannot hear. They listen to music better, or rather, hear it better.

Possess figurative memory, the ability to retain impressions for a long time and reproduce vivid memories. They can see the invisible by seeing multidimensional subtext in a simple image. They have a craving for paradoxes, their own view and special color perception.

Easily navigate in space, remembering all moves and exits, remember the details and sequence of actions.In addition, they freely circulate with time, fixing in memory the sequence of experienced events and easily returning to them, as if by invisible marks.

Connected with the unconscious, let it not sound like something from the field of kitchen psychology. Lefties see the world differently, discovering and experiencing other facets and qualities. This explains the phenomenal properties of some left-handers: the ability to live one step ahead and predict the future. Illumination is a natural ability for them.

Against the background of these amazing left-handers, we, right-handers, who know how to operate with numbers, think logically and speak fluently, look very down-to-earth.There is only one consolation – most of us are a little left-handed, but left-handedness is not bright, but hidden, manifested in more active use of the left ear, left eye or left leg.

By the way, scientists suggest that the female mind is close in its properties to the brain of a left-handed man. This, it turns out, is where wives have such amazing intuition and “X-ray” vision that leaves no hope for husbands.

In the former USSR, research on left-handedness was fragmented and did not have a single goal.That is why, until recently, left-handers were mercilessly retraining in our country, breaking and correcting their natural “deficiency”. The result is the creation of a person who writes like everyone else, but suffers, deprived of inner integrity and yearning for his left-handedness. What a great effort was this retraining, which disfigured the specific qualities of the psyche of left-handers and brought children to neurotic reactions, tics, stuttering and urinary incontinence. Often, having become more independent, a person still more willingly worked with his left hand, and this did not bother him at all – nature took its toll.

If you have a left-handed child, then do not put pressure on him, but consult with a psychologist and select a teacher and an educational institution that can adapt and teach him to fully live him in our “right”, too rational world. If a left-handed person is left alone, without trying to retrain, he will respond with high indicators of mental development, creativity of thinking, outstanding abilities and achievements in architecture, music, and artistic creation. Lefties should be taken care of, they may not have fully revealed their potential.They also have colorful dreams and are able to see the future.

This simple test (according to A.M. Kiselev and A. B. Bakushev) will make it clear how left-handed you are and highlight some of your character traits.

To do this, you need to take turns:

1. Interlace your fingers.

If your left thumb is on the top, write the letter L on a piece of paper, if your right thumb is the letter P.

2. Aim at an invisible target. If for this you use your left eye, closing the right one, write L, if vice versa – P.

3. Cross your arms over your chest, assuming the pose of Napoleon.

If the left hand is on top, mark it with the letter L, if with the right hand, mark it with the letter P.

4. Clap. If you hit the right palm with your left palm, this is the letter L, if the right palm is more active – the letter P.

PPPP (100% right-handed) – conservatism, orientation towards stereotypes, lack of conflict, unwillingness to argue and quarrel.

PPPL – the most striking character trait is indecision.

PPLP – very contact type of character.Coquetry, decisiveness, sense of humor, artistry, more often in women.

PPLL – A rare combination. The character is close to the previous one, but softer.

PLPP – analytical mind and gentleness. Slow addiction, caution in relationships, tolerance and some coldness. More often in women.

PLPL – the rarest combination; defenselessness, susceptibility to various influences. More often in women.

LDPP is a frequent combination. Emotionality, lack of perseverance and perseverance in solving major issues, susceptibility to other people’s influence, good

adaptability, friendliness and easy contact.

LPPL – greater than in the previous case, gentleness of character, naivety.

LLPP – friendliness and simplicity, some scattered interests and a tendency to introspection.

LLPL – simplicity, gentleness, gullibility.

LLP – emotionality, energy and determination.

LLLL (100% left-handed) – “anti-conservative type of character”. The ability to look at the old in a new way. Strong emotions, pronounced individualism, selfishness, stubbornness, sometimes reaching isolation.

LPLP – the strongest type of character; inability to change their point of view, energy, perseverance in achieving goals.

LPLL – similar to the previous type of character, but more unstable, prone to introspection, has difficulty finding friends.

PLLP – easy character, ability to avoid conflicts, ease of communication and making acquaintances, frequent change of hobbies.

PLLL – inconstancy and independence, the desire to do everything yourself.

AiF.ru has collected 20 curious facts about left-handers

1. Almost 90% of people on the planet are right-handed, and only 3-5% have their “leading hand” left. The rest are ambidextrous.

2. The number of left-handers is constantly decreasing. In the Stone Age, there were 50% of them, in the Bronze Age – 25%, and now – only 5%. About 2,500 left-handed people die each year from accidents involving right-handed people.

3. The southern hemisphere of the Earth is more “left-handed”: among the population of South Asia, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia there are much more left-handers than in other ethnic groups around the world, while among the population of Western and Northern Europe, Africa – left-handers are much less common.

4. At different times, left-handedness was considered either as a bad habit, or even as a sign of the devil, or as a sign of neurosis or rebellious character. Later it was seen as a sign of creative and musical ability.

5. In Japan, until the twentieth century, the wife’s left-handedness was considered a sufficient reason for divorce.

6. In many languages ​​the word “left” has a negative connotation and is synonymous with the words “awkward”, “false”, “insincere”, “suspicious.”In English, synonyms for left-handed are clumsy, clumsy, ambiguous, and doubtful.

The French “gauche” means not only “left” but also “dishonest.”

7. Stuttering and dyslexia (inability to read) are more common in left-handers.

8. Right-handers live on average 9 years longer than left-handers.

9. Left-handers use their right hand much more often than right-handers use their left.

10. The probability of having a left-handed child, if both parents are right-handed, is only 2%.If one of the parents is left-handed, the probability rises to 17%; both left-handed parents have left-handed children in 46% of cases.

11. Left-handers are most common among identical twins.

12. Left-handed children are usually much more stubborn than their right-handed peers, and their period of stubbornness is protracted.

13. Many left-handers have good musical ability and perfect pitch.

14. Often left-handed children start speaking later than their peers and have difficulty in pronouncing certain sounds.

15. “Forced left-handedness” occurs due to an injury to the right hand at an early age. It also happens that a child imitates one of the left-handed parents, and as a result, left-handedness becomes a habit.

16. Left-handers often choose the profession of artists, painters, writers, they are especially appreciated in boxing, fencing and swimming.

17.40% of gold medals in boxing were won by left-handed people. A left-handed boxer has the advantage on a hit to the liver, but loses the advantage of a right-handed boxer on a hit to the heart.

18. Men are more often left-handed than women.

19. Among those who graduate from college, left-handed men are 15% richer than right-handed men, and among those who graduate, left-handed men are 26% richer than right-handed men. In women, no connection was found between salary and left-handedness.

20. The terms “left-handed” and “right-handed” apply not only to humans, but also to animals. Among cats, the majority are right-handed, among mice 44% are right-handed, 28% are left-handed, and the rest are ambidextrous, and all polar bears are left-handed.

International Left-Handed Day is celebrated on 13 August. The holiday has a global scale, so most developed countries celebrate it. On this day, it is customary for left-handed people to give gifts designed specifically for left-handed people.

Most people do not even know how many left-handers there are in the world, since many of them were retrained in childhood. It is the holiday that helps people from both sides to rally and have good fun.

How and since when is the holiday celebrated?

Left-Handed Day has a rather interesting but confusing story.Here are some facts:

On this holiday, heroes of the occasion are traditionally presented with specialized gifts adapted for the left hand.

How many left-handers in the world – in numbers and percentages?

It is known that about 500 million left-handed people live on the planet.
This is about 10% of the total population of the Earth! Moreover, the number of left-handed people is growing steadily. Already in 2018, according to statistics, left-handers accounted for 15% of the world’s inhabitants, and by 2020 their total number will exceed a billion.

Soon their number will exceed one billion

It is interesting that among the left-handed were:

  • Alexander the Great,
  • Guy Julius Caesar,
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,
  • Leonardo da Vinci,
  • Petroleum Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky,
  • Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein and many others.

Have you ever wondered why such children were often retrained in the past? The fact is that before left-handed people were perceived differently from all “normal” people. Writing with the left hand was considered a deviation.
Often this only concerned the use of cutlery and writing. The harm from retraining can be irreparable, as it deals a strong blow to the child’s mental health. For example, retraining can lead to diseases such as epilepsy and depression.

The myth that left-handedness is a deviation spread and gained strength in the CIS countries during the existence of the USSR

Features of left-handed people:

  • Scientists have found that all left-handed people have an active right hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for creativity.They often have some extraordinary talent, or even several. Examples of this are the genius scientist Albert Einstein, the surrealist Pablo Picasso and the writer Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy.
  • Such people know how and love to absorb knowledge entirely, without stopping at some moment. Unfortunately, this is more a minus than a plus, since due to their restlessness, they constantly change their hobbies and hobbies.
  • Left-handed are incorrigible dreamers and romantics who may have problems with logic.
  • Also left-handers tend to be more flexible than right-handers and have better short-term memory.

It is known that the center of anger and happiness is in the left hemisphere in right-handers, while in left-handed people these zones are in the right hemisphere. That is why various types of therapy may not work in patients with left-handed schizophrenia and vice versa.
Knowing this can help in choosing the right treatment, as not all options are equally good for left-handed and right-handed people.

It doesn’t matter who you are – left-handed or right-handed, because the holiday unites both.The thinking habits of right-handers and left-handers are noticeably different, but this is not an obstacle, because you can learn from each other!

, who is left-handed, mostly uses his left hand more often than his right; a left-handed person will primarily use his left hand for personal needs, cooking, and the like.
The hand used for writing is not an accurate indicator of left (right) handedness. For example, many left-handed people write with their right hand, using their left hand for most other tasks.1

Alexander the Great

, Julius Caesar,

da Vinci

, Napoleon, Charlie Chaplin, Lewis Carroll, Michelangelo, Albert Einstein – what unites these people besides genius?
They are all left-handed.
The percentage of giftedness among left-handed people is unusually high. It is difficult to name an area of ​​art, politics or sports where left-handers would not have staked out the first places.
In music it is Mozart and Beethoven, in painting –

Leonardo da Vinci

, Raphael, Rubens.The inimitable Robert De Niro, the charming Julia Roberts, the “die hard” Bruce Willis, the charming Tom Cruise, the invincible Sylvester Stallone are also left-handed.

All recent US presidents – Reagan, Bush, and Clinton – are entirely left-handed. Even Al Gore, one of the leaders of the presidential race, writes with his left hand.
Famous tennis players Monica Seles and Martina Navratilova hit with great left.
Computer genius Bill Gates, who could not be ruined by the recent millions in losses, is also left-handed.
It would seem that left-handed people have something to be proud of. One Lefty, created by left-handed writer Nikolai Leskov, is worth it!
But the majority, alas, still treat them negatively. 6
In most technical contexts, English uses “sinistral” instead of “left-handed” and “sinistrality” instead of “left-handedness”.
These technical terms come from the Latin word “sinister” – ominous (gloomy).5
From the very first months of life, children are divided into left-handers and right-handers. Left-handedness is influenced by genetics, pregnancy and childbirth.

There are several types of left-handers.
. Genetic

(9-11%) inherit left-handedness. In 2007, a group of scientists led by experts from the University of Oxford discovered the LLRTM1 gene, which determines whether a person is left-handed. 3
The same gene, according to scientists, increases the chances of mental illness, in particular schizophrenia.
According to Genschwind’s theory, high levels of testosterone in the mother’s blood during pregnancy can lead to the birth of a left-handed child.

. Compensatory

(12-13%) are born with an unfavorable course of pregnancy and childbirth. Birth trauma is often found in their anamnesis. 90,035 Their number in developed countries has recently been increasing, as sociologists suggest, due to the increase in the number of late births. If a mom gives birth after 40 years of age, the chances of having a left-hander increase to 128% compared to 20 years old.4
According to some data, in Russia the recent increase in the number of left-handers (up to 25-30%) is associated not only with the termination of retraining at school, but also with a high percentage (up to 70%) of complications during childbirth.
. Forced left-handed

(2-3%) received an injury to their right hand and have to develop their left.
Left-handedness began to be actively studied after the First World War, when a huge number of people lost an arm or a hand in battles. In 1918, the Frenchman Albert Charlet published a book “How to write with your left hand” addressed to disabled people who returned from the war.
In 1919, the American military administration began distributing the brochure How to Learn to Write With Your Left Hand When Your Right Hand Was Amputated.
. Imitative

(approximately 1%) most often appear in families where parents are left-handed. Kids just copy them. This is the only category of left-handed people who, after carefully weighing the pros and cons and consulting a specialist, it makes sense to retrain. 3
According to statistics, people who use their right hand in their pure form – 40%, and the left – about 1%…

Some scientists believe that the ratio of left-handers to right-handers at all times has remained approximately the same. Interestingly, the rock paintings depict people doing something with their right hand. There are plenty of such images on the walls of caves and Egyptian pyramids. Moreover, the tools of labor and products of ancient armourers that have survived from the Paleolithic era were clearly intended for the right hand.
But there are works proving that in the Stone Age there were the same number of right-handed and left-handed, and in the Bronze Age, two-thirds became right-handed.
It is curious that in this sense, equality reigns in the animal kingdom. Although a number of studies convincingly prove that monkeys prefer to reach for food with their left hand, and perform various manipulations with their right. That is, the old functions are controlled by the right hemisphere, and the new ones are controlled by the left.
By the way, if you watch newborn babies, you will notice that they often grab them with their left hand. Even 100% right-handers perform some functions, in particular static ones, with their left hand.
In general, there are many theories regarding the origin of left-handedness.From semi-fantastic to quite scientific.
Right-handedness was explained by the right-sided arrangement of the liver, which displaces the center of gravity of the body, and left-handedness – the heart, forcing the warrior to hold a shield in his left hand, and a sword in his right hand. It is believed that there are more left-handed people in the north than in the south.
There are hypotheses that the number of such people fluctuates depending on the historical period. Some experts tend to see left-handedness as a consequence of birth trauma and even pathology.
One of the latest theories is related to the existence of the gene for the right shift, that is, right-handedness.This gene is inherited in a certain way, while the left shift gene drops out as a random variant. Even the position of the fetus during pregnancy can play a role. 6
Australia was the first country to ban the retraining of left-handers. At the end of the 19th century on this continent, left-handedness was noticed in 2% of the population, in 1910 – in 6%, in 1930 – in 9%, in the 1960s – in 13.5%.
In 1914, Philadelphia (USA) hosted a symposium “How to Treat Left-Handed Students”; Left-handedness was recognized as a congenital feature, and retraining was recognized as dangerous for the child’s psyche.When the US stopped retraining children in schools, from 1932 to 1972 the number of left-handed Americans increased fivefold. 2
Ambidextra – such a tricky word is the name of those who are equally skillfully controlled by both the right and the left hand. It is believed that ambidexterity is an innate property. Children under 5 years of age equally often use their right and left hands.

However, a person can become “two-handed” as a result of training, however, subconsciously, he will still prefer a hand due to physiological characteristics


Ambisinistra (from Lat. – “both left”) – a person who finds it difficult to use two hands (antipode of ambidenstra).
In the 19th century, it was believed that by subduing both hands, a person would perfectly master both hemispheres


and will almost turn into a superman. The fashion for artificial ambidexterity quickly passed, because in the course of research it turned out that “two-handed” are no better than right-handers and left-handers.
Modern scientists also refuse to single out one of these three extremes (left-handedness, right-handedness, ambidexterity) as right or perfect.2
Left-handed people have certain problems when using certain objects.
For example, when writing with a ballpoint pen, everything just written can be smeared with the same hand.
Scissors are also not very convenient to use – in the left hand they block the view of the cut point, so cutting out a figure is not at all easy …
Lefties get out of this position as best they can: they get used to, alter, modify …
In the process of developing the head




there is a division of functions between the left and right hemispheres.Right cerebral hemisphere


is responsible for specifically – figurative activity (recognition of objects by smell, color and visual perception).
And the left hemisphere is responsible for speech functions, reading, writing, as well as mathematical, logical and analytical thinking. That is why the left hemisphere is called dominant or predominant.
Both cerebral hemispheres are involved in the implementation of body movements


. The left hemisphere controls the right arm and leg.And the right, respectively, with the left hand and foot.

Consequently, in right-handers, the left hemisphere is dominant, and the right hand is predominant. But sometimes during the development of the head

some changes are taking place, and the dominant role is played by the right hemisphere. In this case, the left hand is the main one. 5


are many paired organs. The eyes, ears, kidneys, lungs, ovaries, testes are symmetrical and perform the same functions.Having lost one organ, a person can get by with the help of an understudy.
In this sense, the cerebral hemisphere


are an exception. They will never replace each other.
So what is the difference between the work of the head


left-handed and right-handed?
Researchers have been conducting experiments for a long time, clarifying the differences in the activities of the head


left-handed and right-handed people trying to figure out which areas work in a given action.
For example, the difference between “left” and “right”, according to some researchers, is in the perception of the surrounding reality. The left hemisphere of right-handers breaks up the picture of the world into details and builds logical chains of cause and effect. It analyzes information, searches in


analogs, works slowly.
Right leading hemisphere


left-handers captures the whole picture of the world, without details, figuratively and does it much faster.
Left-hemisphere right-handers are more rational, reasonable, emotionally restrained.
Most left-handers do not have a clear left-right connection in their heads, so they are often confused. Right-brain left-handers are inclined towards imaginative thinking, are more emotional, vulnerable.

Today in the scientific world there are three approaches.
I – right-handers and left-handers have no advantage over each other.
II – Lefties have nothing to be proud of, their cute feature often accompanies such mental illnesses as epilepsy, schizophrenia, and contributes to hereditary alcoholism.
III — Lefties have higher indicators of neuropsychic activity and greater adaptive capabilities than right-handers.
It is believed that left-handedness should not influence the choice of profession, but there are still areas of activity in which the left-handed person will be less successful.
For example, there are very few of them among the pilots: all the control of the aircraft is designed for a right-handed person. According to doctors, in a stressful situation, left-handed pilots may develop spatial illusions and errors inherent in the mirror perception of the world.
Dental clinics have also become a left-handed zone.
Left-handedness is considered an advantage in many sports. But this is especially evident in boxing. Left-handed boxers win 35-40% of gold medals in major international competitions. They are uncomfortable and unpredictable opponents.
In the 1970s, in the course of research, it was found that the advantage of left-handers is not in the speed of execution of punches with each hand separately, but in the total speed of response.
The speed of motor functions in left-handers is generally worse: for example, the time to avoid a blow when bending the trunk is 270 ms for left-handers and 230 ms for right-handers.
But left-handers have practically no difference in movement between the right and left hands. This also applies to the accuracy of strikes: for left-handers, the work of the right hand is the same as for right-handers, and the left hand is much better. 2
The headquarters of the International Left-Handed Association is located in Topeka, Kansas, USA. The Association released the “Bill of Lefties”, where it emotionally asks the question: “Why should left-handers live in a world where they are deliberately placed in unequal conditions with others?”
The British Left-Handed Club in 1992 launched an initiative to introduce World Left-Handed Day, which is celebrated annually on 13 August.For the first time this day was celebrated on August 13, 1976 (according to other sources – on August 13, 1992). 1
Since then, every year on this day, activists strive to draw the attention of designers, manufacturers and sellers of goods to the need to take into account the convenience of left-handers when using various items, and also urge right-handers to spend this day using only their left hand …

Who is a left-handed person?

This is a person whose right side of the brain is dominant.

Left-handed (left-handed)
– a person preferably using the left hand. Among people, left-handers make up about 15%, that is, one in seven is left-handed.

Right-handed people prevail among the inhabitants of the Earth on all five continents of our planet, regardless of nationality and race.

Unequal people should be divided into two unequal parts.

  1. The largest is left-handers
    , people with a predominantly developed left hand.If they were not retrained in childhood, with this hand they eat, write, wind up the clock, hammer in nails. Their left hand is stronger, faster, more reliable. But, the hand used to write is not an accurate indicator of left- (right-) handedness. For example, many left-handed people write with their right hand, using their left hand for most other tasks.
  2. The smallest part includes ambidextrous
    – people with equally developed arms. In fact, these are people with equally poorly developed hands. It is from their midst that subjects emerge who do not even know how to hammer in a nail and in whom, when trying to wash the dishes, it beats faster than it becomes clean.There are few such people, but, according to research by scientists, their number is constantly growing.

Humanity has never been entirely right-handed. The existence of left-handers has been reliably known since biblical times. After the return of the Jews from Egypt and their conquest of Palestine, the sons of the tribe of Benjamin, who later formed the kingdom of Judah together with the tribe of Judah, were distinguished by their particular belligerence. In 1406 BC, 700 soldiers were selected from an army of almost twenty thousand, who knew how to throw stones from a sling with their left hand and accurately hit the target.Thus, even in those days, 3.7 percent of Jews were clearly left-handed. Considering that the diagnosis of left-handedness was hardly more accurate then than it is now, then we can assume that the ratio of left-handed and right-handed people has not changed significantly since then.

Scientists of the last century were quite well aware of the uneven development of our hands, but they took it too literally. Indeed, the muscles of the right arm are more massive, which means they have more strength. However, the coherence of muscle work depends entirely on the perfection of the command centers of the brain.It is not the right hand itself that is better developed, but the motor centers of the left hemisphere, which command it. It is more correct to speak not about the leading hand, but about the leading hemisphere of the brain.
At the same time, one should not forget the peculiarity of the functional organization of our brain – the cross control of the muscular apparatus. Therefore, the work of the right muscles of the human body is controlled by the left hemisphere of the brain, and the work of the left muscles is controlled by the right hemisphere.

Thus, right-handers
The left-handed hemisphere is the leading one, and for left-handers, without good reason, the right was still considered the leading one.

How the brain is developed ambidextrous,
is not known for certain. It is assumed that the most developed centers from any pair of command posts of the same name are randomly represented in the right or in the left hemispheres of their brain.

People noticed their own asymmetry a long time ago. In several drawings of a prehistoric man, made about 30 thousand years ago, hunters hold a spear or club in their right hand. This means that already at that time, most of our ancestors were right-handed.However, and until now we are absolutely unknown the reasons for the predominance of the right hand over the left. Of course, there are many guesses on this score, but now it is already obvious that most of them will have to be discarded.

In children under one and a half to two years, both hands are developed in exactly the same way. This circumstance gave rise to the idea that we create right-handedness in ourselves, raising our children accordingly. Even the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, the founder of the world’s first academy, believed that through the stupidity of mothers and nannies who teach us to do everything with our right hand, we acquire this bad habit and from harmoniously developed people, which we are born into, we turn into cripples.Even in our time, such ideas have their supporters.

It has been suggested that right-handedness is brought up from the first days of a child’s life and at first it is carried out by our parents unconsciously. Right-handed mothers (naturally, this applies equally to right-handed dads, grandparents) most often hold their children to the left, freeing their right hand. It was assumed that, being in this position, it is more convenient for the child to use the right hand. Thus, a constant posture at an early age should lay the foundations of right-handedness in a child.

The theories listed above do not seem convincing at present, but others are not yet available. It is only known for certain that the preferred development of one of the hands is in no way a consequence of upbringing, but is inherited. It is more convenient to trace this pattern on left-handed people.

  • In families where both parents are left-handed, 50 percent of children are also born left-handed;
  • 90,448 16.7 percent of left-handed children appear in families where only one parent is left-handed;

    90,448 6.3 in families of right-handed people.

It’s amazing how we humans know little about ourselves. We still do not know exactly how many right-handers are on earth, and how many are left-handed. The corresponding calculations were carried out more than once, but their results rarely coincided with each other. Various scientists have estimated the number of left-handers from 1 to 30 percent.
In modern more detailed studies, figures from 5 to 20 percent are cited.

This discrepancy depends on the assessment methodology. It is important not only who the subject considers himself to be, how others evaluate him and which hand he mainly uses in everyday life, but also the results of performing special tests.
With their help, it is possible to reveal the hidden left-handers retrained in childhood. Most scientists now believe that although special training, especially started at an early age, can turn a left-handed person into a person who uses the right hand more often, retraining will not fundamentally change the features of the functional asymmetry of the brain.

To identify the leading hand, 5 … 10 special tests are used.

  • If, when the fingers are intertwined, the thumb of the right hand is on top, and the right hand is in the “Napoleon pose” with the upper arms crossed on the chest, it is considered that the subject is right-handed.
  • In a clapping test, right-handers slap the palm of their right hand against the still palm of their left.
  • When winding up the watch, they hold it in their left hand, and turn the crown of the winding mechanism with their right fingers.
  • The subject is given two pencils and, blindfolded, asked to draw two circles or squares. The leading hand drawing is much more perfect than the second drawing.

The value of these tests is in the consistency of results. The final conclusion is made on the basis of their totality.

In left-handers in diagnostic tests, everything turns out the other way around: when the fingers are intertwined, the thumb of the left hand is at the top, and in the “Napoleon’s pose” the left hand.

Nothing definite can be said about ambidextrous. When performing tests to determine the dominant hand, these subjects give the most incredible discord. There are ambidextrous people who write and eat with their left hand, and wind up and gesticulate with their right hand.

A systematic study of motor asymmetry has revealed many surprising and still obscure details.
As already mentioned, in newborn babies, both hands are equal. If preferences in their use arise in the first years of life, then they are not long-lasting and can change many times. Only in the fifth year of life, the right hand of future right-handers gradually begins to take on all complex activities. The process of her improvement continues for a long time and ends in adulthood.
When – scientists cannot yet say.
It is assumed that in old age the opposite process occurs and the unequal value of the hands is gradually smoothed out.It is difficult to say whether this sequence is a normal process of development of functions or whether age-related brain pathology is to blame for the smoothing of motor asymmetry.

There is an idea that in girls and women the asymmetry of the hands is less pronounced, and left-handers among them are 1.5 … 2 times less than among the stronger sex. Improving girls’ brain functions takes a long time and takes place slowly.

In boys, at the age of six, many functions are performed separately by the right or left hemisphere of the brain, while in girls twice their age, brain specialization is often just beginning.Usually, the development of the left hemisphere is seriously delayed in comparison with the right, and the improvement of the latter proceeds especially slowly, which determines the absence of pronounced asymmetry in girls in the first 6 … 10 years of their life.

It is especially interesting that among the twins, left-handers come across much more often than among those born alone, and, moreover, both twins are rarely left-handed. Usually one of the twins always becomes right-handed. If the twins are heterosexual, the boy is more often left-handed. Among Siamese twins, as a rule, one is right-handed, the other is left-handed.

And what about the rest of the organs of our body?
Are they equally developed or, like arms, have different abilities?

In everyday life, we do not feel much difference. In leg development, for example, asymmetry is less pronounced than in arm development, and none of our lower extremities has such significant advantages as the right hand.

It is not surprising that there is still no complete clarity on this issue.Some researchers believe that the right-handed dominant leg is the left, more recent studies have shown that people with the right-handed dominant leg also becomes the right.
Lefties have not yet found a clear preference for any particular leg.

It is difficult to identify the leading leg. There are few special tests to answer this question. The nature of the asymmetry of the lower extremities is judged by how we sit cross-legged and by the relative length of the stride.It is believed that we usually throw in the leading leg and its stride is long.

Another sign is associated with this property of the leading leg – a deviation from a given direction when moving with a blindfold. Since the leading leg takes a longer step, then a person who wants to walk straight, but does not have the ability to control the direction of his movement with the help of vision, will deviate to the side opposite to the leading leg.
The systematic deviation from rectilinear movement explains why people who get lost in the forest or in high reeds and try to strictly adhere to the chosen direction, after making a large circle, eventually return to the place from which they began to move.

The functional asymmetry of the cerebral hemispheres is not limited to differences in the perfection of the muscle functions of the right and left halves of the body. It can also be found in the functioning of the senses. In humans, it is possible to detect the leading eye and the leading ear, the leading half of the nose and tongue.

62 percent of people have their right eye. If he becomes slightly blind and the person begins to use the other eye more often, the leading eye does not lose its leadership.

Most people have more taste buds on the left side of the tongue, and it is more sensitive to taste stimuli than the right side.

In terms of sensitivity to olfactory stimuli, the left half of the nose is also the leading one. It is assumed that all olfactory information is analyzed by the right hemisphere, and the left hemisphere is completely uninterested in smells.

We easily recognize familiar objects by touch. Even a casual touch can tell a lot about them.

For right-handers, according to tactile talents, the left hand is the leading one. Its readings are more reliable. The left hand more accurately determines the temperature of an object, and the right hand understands its weight better.The asymmetry of tactile abilities already occurs in children. It was found even in six-year-old boys.

In right-handers, the right hand is slightly longer than the left, and the nail bed of the thumb is longer and wider than on the left hand.
The nose of right-handers deviates to the right, and of left-handers – to the left, the curl of hair on the head of the right-hander is twisted clockwise, and on the crown of the left-hander in the opposite direction. The direction of the curl seems like a complete trifle, but for some reason so many different superstitions are associated with this feature of our hair.

Thus, most of the functions of the human body are expressed asymmetrically, and this indisputably indicates that the functions of the brain, in turn, are also unevenly distributed between the hemispheres. In other words, man is an extremely lopsided creature.

Boris Sergeev. “Mind is good ..” chapters from the book

Lefties are the largest “minority” of the planet / Habr

Many right-handers ask a reasonable question why left-handers often use the phrase “I’m left-handed!” As an excuse for their hand … awkwardness.What is it about left-handedness?

Lefty, this is when:

  • you don’t see the word you just wrote;
  • you twist your hand so that the edge of your palm does not smear the still wet ink on the paper;
  • can’t use ink pens because of # 2;
  • it is inconvenient for you to open the doors, because they are all designed for opening with the right hand;
  • opening a tin can with a Soviet “right” knife-opener turns from an easy thing into breaking a thick civilian tin “profit” with considerable use of physical force;
  • with purchased knives, by the way, there is the same trouble, because if the knife has an asymmetrical sharpening under the right-handers, it is taken to the side;
  • you either have to learn to take a rifle in your right hand or look like an idiot;
  • standard sports / pneumatic pistols have a handle immediately “cast” for right-handedness, at least in shooting ranges;
  • Almost all modern construction tools are designed for use on the right side;
  • remember the right-hand traffic and the structure of the car;
  • blood from a finger is often also taken on the left hand, i.e.because everyone uses it less often;
  • you have to carefully choose a place at the table so that no one is sitting on the left;

And 1000 more little things and charms that only left-handers will understand and which will never be available for right-handed people to understand. In general, right-handed owners of Nokia Lumia in 2012-2013 could feel left-handed, because the questions to them were about the same and the same level.

The number of left-handed people on our planet, depending on the region, ranges from minimum values ​​(3 percent or less in the Russian Federation and in the post-Soviet space), to a third or more of the population (Australia and South Africa).But that figure never even came close to 50%. Why?

There is a lot of research on the topic of left-handedness, as well as various tales. One of the most common myths is that the right hemisphere of the brain, the dominance of which leads to left-handedness, is responsible for all sorts of creative traits and abilities of a person, while right-handed people are completely logical mathematicians.

An example of spherical stereotypes in a vacuum

Actually, no, it has not been proven more precisely.Perhaps left-handedness somehow contributes to the development of creative inclinations in people in the modern world of right-handers, however, this will be rather due to the fact that left-handers constantly have to “mirror” what is happening to understand the process (for example, how to repeat this or that movement on the left side ), and not because it was laid down by nature.

The population of left-handers is small and makes up “on average in the hospital” from 8 to 10% (according to some sources, up to 15%) of the population (with the exception of a number of regions).According to scientists, many factors affect left-handedness, ranging from habitat to inheritance. The latter takes place, since in the presence of one left-hander in the family, his descendants are also quite often left-handed, which “does not fit” into the statistical fork of 8-15%. There is a concept of “family” left-handedness. Researchers attribute this phenomenon to learning and the desire to imitate a parent. With a high degree of probability, if the father is left-handed, as well as the older brother or brothers, then the younger will strive to imitate them, including in terms of using the left hand as the leading one.A fact is recorded when, in a similar way, the adopted child tried to deliberately “please” the new left-handed father and tried to retrain himself to use the left hand, while being right-handed by nature.

In addition to ongoing neurological and brain research, there are a number of quite logical views on the origin and preservation of the left-handed population.

At the beginning of the 2000s, scientists Charlotte Forrie and Michael Reynold conducted a study in order to identify the regularity of the increase in the population of left-handers depending on the social situation.Researchers analyzed other work from the fields of neurobiology and anthropology and came to the conclusion that over the past 10,000 years, the number of left-handers has not decreased and has always been in the region of 10% + \ – per human population. At the same time, even in a 1991 study, the heredity of such a phenomenon as left-handedness was revealed. However, another study in 1997 argued that left-handers, on average, have a shorter life expectancy than right-handers and are more susceptible to neurological disorders.

However, at the same time, nature did not get rid of left-handed people through natural selection (when he was still working), but retained such a phenomenon as left-handedness.

Forrie and Reynold suggested that the survival of the left-handed population was due to the fact that they are more successful fighters against the background of the majority of right-handers. This opinion is indirectly confirmed by modern professional sports, specifically fencing and boxing. If in everyday life only one out of ten people is left-handed, then in professional boxing, according to some estimates, the number of left-handers reaches 25 percent or more.

2003, Vladimir Klitschko vs. left-hander Corrie Sanders. Sanders won that fight by technical knockout, but a year later he lost to Vladimir’s brother – Vitaly

The same tendency is observed in fencing. At the same time, the coaches of national teams for the last 50 years have often deliberately give preference to left-handers, since it is more difficult to “work” with them for their right-handed opponents due to lack of practice.

Scientists relied on modern sports statistics, which, for a “spherical situation in a vacuum”, shows that in the case of a “fight to the death” in ancient times, the left-hander had more chances to survive because of its uniqueness and inconvenience for the enemy: for 100 fights in 90 In some cases, the right-hander met with the right-hander, and only in 10 cases – with the left-hander.For left-handers, these statistics are the same, that is, the factor of “surprise” in the form of the other leading hand played in their favor. The danger and inconvenience of left-handers is noted by fencing and boxing coaches. To meet such an opponent, an athlete has to prepare additionally and constantly be on the alert, while a left-hander is ready in advance and knows all his strengths and weaknesses in a duel with right-handers.

At the same time, from a social and combat point of view, the advantage of the left-hander is not so strong, because otherwise we, left-handers and right-handers, would have been approximately equal for a long time, at least among men.With an increase in the number of left-handers in ancient times, their level of “combat advantage” fell (more left-handers – more right-handers who are able to cope with them), which probably led to the achievement of a natural “balance” at around 10%.

In addition, the “battle” hypothesis has one more weak point: if left-handedness is a sign that allowed a certain category of males to survive in the population, then why is there a sufficiently large number of left-handed females? Yes, this trait can be inherited, which led to a stable presence of left-handed females, although not as often as males (there are almost twice as many left-handed men as left-handed women), but the very fact of left-handedness in both sexes casts some doubt on this hypothesis.

A small number of left-handers in ancient times is confirmed by the analysis of tools and weapons, through the analysis of wear and, for example, the braiding of axes. Of course, these data have a certain error, since not too many instruments used ten to twenty thousand years ago have come down to us in an acceptable form.

In any case, from the sociological point of view of the development of the human population over the past 40,000 years, this hypothesis has the right to exist.

If the “battle” hypothesis tries to explain the existence of left-handers, then a number of other assumptions of scientists shed light on why there are so few of them.

One of the most powerful factors of influence on a person and his development is the social environment. In many countries and regions, for centuries, being left-handed was considered indecent or unacceptable.

One of the clearest examples of the persecution of left-handers is the regions where Islam is practiced. Here are some excerpts from the Qur’an:

When any of you begins to eat, let him eat with his right hand, and if anyone starts drinking, let him do it with his right hand, for the Shaitan eats and drinks with his left hand (Hadith 14 ).

The Messenger of Allah said: “Those who love each other for the sake of Allah on the Day of Judgment will be on the green earth of chrysolite (precious stone) in the shadow of His Throne, at His right hand, both of whose hands are right.”

It should be noted that over the centuries of civilization development, the laws of Sharia and the total prohibition on using (belittling) the left hand as the “hand of Shaitan” now depend solely on the interpretation of the Koran and the degree of moderation of those professing Islam. So, a rigid reference to the inadmissibility of using the left hand when eating and generally using the left hand is now more applicable to the Wahhabis, who refer to the second cited quote and materialize Allah.More moderate Muslims argue that many things described in the Quran had a completely logical background for the time of its writing (for example, from the point of view of hygiene), and the verse about the mention of “two right hands” in Allah is a typical example of Arabic eloquence and this the statement should be attributed to metaphors.

Be that as it may, over the centuries Islam has eradicated left-handed people as a phenomenon, and in some countries even now the use of the left hand for eating, including on the part of the Gentiles, is considered offensive and unacceptable.

Similar problems have arisen in many cultures (Japan, India), where, just like in Islamic countries, you cannot eat with your left hand. In some parts of India, you cannot even touch the plate with your left hand. In China, on the other hand, a left-handed person is considered good luck for the family, since a child is predicted to be successful and a high level of ability in the sciences, just because he is left-handed. Moreover, in many eastern countries, gestures or handing over objects with the left hand can be regarded as an insult or disdain.

In early Christianity and the Middle Ages, left-handers were also not very favored. As in Islam, Christians believed that the left hand is the hand of the Devil, since he sits on the left shoulder, while incline a person to sin.

All these factors combined could have seriously reduced the natural population of left-handers.

It is not uncommon for children in the more enlightened last century to be forcibly retrained from their left hand to their right when writing. In the USSR this was done for the sake of “discipline” and “uniformity”, in other countries – for cultural reasons or because of the peculiarities of writing.

Now the main criterion for left- or right-handedness is the use of a particular hand in writing. However, there is a significant proportion of left-handed people who write with their right hand and do everything else with their left.

Another curious fact: in developed industrial countries, the likelihood of an industrial accident involving a left-hander is higher. Due to the overwhelming number of right-handed people, many machines and units are designed for ease of use with the right hand without taking into account the existence of left-handed people as such.It has been proven that in emergency cases, a person unconsciously strives to use his leading hand. For example, that is why, when skydiving for left-handers, separate trainings are carried out to secure the “jerk” of the ring not with the left, but with the right hand, under which it is installed. In production, a situation may arise when the emergency stop button of the machine will find “under the right hand” and the left-hander simply will not be able to navigate.

The concept of the modern world created by right-handers for right-handers creates a number of inconveniences for left-handers, especially for children.

To state unequivocally that a child is left-handed because he holds a spoon in his left hand or tries to write with his left hand does not mean that he is left-handed. At a tender age, coordination of movements and habits have not yet been formed and something can be obtained equally badly with both hands. And that’s okay.

Neurologists have been trying for a long time to develop tests to determine the leading hand. Previously, the “leading” hand was determined exclusively by the hand with which a person writes, but this is not entirely true, since one should not forget about the habit.Here is a series of simple actions that supposedly allow you to determine the leading hand (and eye) in a person:

  • “Invisible pistol”. Put your fingers together with the “pistol” and aim. An open eye will be leading. If this is the left eye, then the person is rather left-handed.
  • Arms crossed on the chest. The leading hand is on top, the palm is under the elbow. If the position of the hands is changed, then the person will be uncomfortable.
  • Applause. The man slams from above with his leading hand, holds his “passive” hand under the blow from below.
  • With the leading foot, the person pushes off when jumping.
  • Interlacing of fingers. The thumb of the dominant hand will be on top, covering the thumb of the “passive” hand.

Unfortunately, even the combination of these tests does not give a guaranteed correct result, and with age, the readings can become even more blurred. Many of these tests do not work on the author, who is completely left-handed from birth, at the age of 25. For example, left-handers often learn to shoot and aim with their right hand / eye.With age, hand coordination increases (since no one cancels the right-handed world around), so the test for “crossed arms” no longer works.

This publication has repeatedly mentioned that our world is the world of right-handers. Thus, from an early age, the child has to adapt to the reality around him. In a situation with a left-handed child, parents have several tasks. The first is to ensure the child’s survival and reach the age of at least sixteen years support for the left-handed person, because in his life almost everything happens “in a mirror”.The second is not to try to retrain and be vigilant.

Here are some examples of conflict and simply dangerous situations that right-handers cannot comprehend:

  • a left-handed child can hardly cope with tightening the screw, because he will need to move the brush outward (which is harder), and not inward, as right-handed.
  • A left-handed child (teenager) should not be given a grinder in his hands (he simply cannot take it correctly in his left hand). If you have enough strength, carefully observe the direction of rotation of the disk and in which direction it is turned.It can save your son (or daughter) eyes.
  • Places for, for example, driving a nail or tightening a nut for a right-handed person are absolutely unbearable for a left-hander. For example, you can stand in a corner so that the wall is on the left. Imagine a hammer in your right hand and a nail in your left. Comfortable? Yes. Now change hands and mentally turn left-handed. You just won’t be able to swing comfortably, let alone get where you need to. The same is with tightening the valve nuts.
  • You should always make sure that your left-hander is sitting on the left side of the table, otherwise he will hit his neighbor’s right hand with his left hand.Also works for school desks. With age, left-handers begin to unconsciously choose positions for themselves, when nothing hinders their movements, sometimes at a very early age, but first they need help.

The only thing worth insisting on is using the mouse with the right hand. In the future, the left-hander will not only be happy that he has learned to hold the mouse “like everyone else”, but will also save a lot of time, effort, nerves and money on this habit. Martial arts classes are well suited (many techniques in the same judo are demonstrated and learned under the right hand), basketball, hockey, and indeed any sport where both hands are required.Football, unfortunately, will not work here.

We still know too little about the brain and our own origins to give an unambiguous answer why left-handers exist. Many primates do not have a pronounced leading hand, that is, we can definitely say that left- or right-handedness is some kind of evolutionary mechanism, a mutation or a consequence of the development of the brain. It is also known for certain that when one of the hemispheres is damaged, our brain adapts to the damage and retrains “to the other side.”The same is true for the loss of a limb, when a left-hander who has lost his dominant hand eventually retrains to be right-handed. By the way, in the opposite direction, this process proceeds, for some reason, more slowly. Perhaps evolutionary mechanisms are to blame, or simply the fact that left-handers have to use their right hand more often than right-handed people use their left.

But, regardless of the precariousness of the hypotheses of the origin and preservation of the population of left-handers, the fact remains: left-handers have existed for a long time and are not going to disappear.

doi: 10.