Which hand do you use to write? 90% of the population is right-handed, while a mere 10% are lefties. Scientists are unsure why the vast majority of prefer use of their right hand, but there is evidence to contribute hand dominance to genetics, health, or even your environment.
Hand dominance reflects the asymmetry (lack of equality) of our brain structure. The functional differences of the left and right hemispheres are believed to have an underlying effect on handedness. The left hemisphere of our brains controls the right side of our body, while the right hemisphere controls the left side of our body; the brain is cross wired. The right hemisphere specializes in creativity and intuition, explaining the common idea that left-handed people are more artistic and talented. Famous lefties include Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Aristotle, Babe Ruth, and Alexander the Great!
While identical twin siblings have the exact game DNA, they often favor different hands! In fact, left handedness is almost twice as likely to occur in twins! This evidence supports that hand dominance is much more than genetic and may have more to do with environmental factors such as position in the womb, handedness relearning by cultural influences, having a low birthweight or even the season you’re born during!
Ancient cultures were extremely biased towards right handedness. Ancient Egyptians often depicted their enemies as left-handed, while ancient Greeks and Romans told mythology of the gods handing down curses and injury with a swift left hand. These ancient cultures reserved the right hand for the tasks of eating, religious ceremonies, and handshake greetings, while the left hand was exclusively used for the task of cleaning yourself after using the bathroom. The right hand is still customary for a handshake! The word “sinister” in Latin originally meant “left,” but took on the mean of evil or unlucky as we still use it today!
Left-handed individuals have an advantage in sports! Due to most of the population being right-handed, lefties can use their opposing dominance in face-to-face interactions to take their competition by surprise! Boxing, tennis, and fencing show a higher percentage of left-handed athletes! Left-handed baseball pitchers take their opponents by surprise!
While you may have a hand-dominance, you may favor your opposite eye, ear, or hand in other situations! Test your dominance today!