What Does it Mean to Be Left Handed?

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So what does it really mean to be left-handed? What are some unique challenges that left-handed people experience? Do they think differently? Well, those are all very interesting questions.

First of all, there is the theory that left-handedness was caused by birth stress. However, left-handed people do not really appreciate this theory, since it basically says that their left-handedness is caused by brain damage that occurred while their mother was giving birth. As unpleasant as this may be to hear, there is some proof to this. There is a higher correlation with difficult births with left-handed babies than there is in comparison to those who are right-handed.  This is something that left-handed people sometimes struggle with and feel a certain amount of stigma about it. Birth stress has been linked to several other complications such as autism and cerebral palsy.

 

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However, being left-handed is really nothing to fret about. Over time, technology and medicine have advanced so much and has managed to improve childbirth processes. But despite this, the amount of people who are left-handed remains the same, and it still fails to provide an explain why human are by default born as right-handed.

The theory of parental pressure aims to explain why right-handedness is the dominant main hand. The theory is that since most parents who brought up up their children are right-handed, we, therefore become mostly right handed.  But this theory has some downfalls, in that it still does not answer the question of how the dominant hand was the right dominance began, and why handedness is more related to biological parents, and not adoptive parents.

Another theory about handedness is social stigma and repression of left-handedness.  Since the beginning of time, being left-handed was seen as a negative thing to be. There are many negative associations with ‘left-handed’ such as clumsy, awkward, unlucky, insincere, sinister, malicious, etc. Despite this, there have been many very famous and successful left-handed people, and it been shown that in some cases it can be related to genius characteristics, as well as unique artistic and visual talents. So if you are left-handed don’t let the social stigma stop you, embrace your left-hand qualities.

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In Taiwan, until only recently, if people were left-handed they were pushed to try to be right-handed or were pushed to use their right hand. This is because it is a lot more challenging to write Chinese letters with the left hand. In every language, it varies. In Latin, it is less of a struggle to write with the left hand, and in Arabic and Hebrew which goes from right to left is even easier to be written with the left hand. However, what is considered easier or harder is all relative, of course, and it depends on who you are asking.

In sun worship, the left is also considered to be related to evil. People from the northern hemisphere who look south see the right on their left side. Therefore,  they move rightwards across the sky and set on their right. However, in the southern hemisphere, the exact opposite happens and right-handedness is very dominant. And there is yet to be research done on people from left-side connotations. But all things being said since, in most cultures who worship the sun view the sun as dying, the right side should show the negative connotations related to a setting sun, which is the opposite.

Left-sidedness in humans has not been proven to actually be associated with being ‘left-sided’. For example, also using your left foot to kick something.  In animals, it has been shown that most primates also demonstrate a want to use one hand over the other. However, the populations do not actually specifically prefer right-handedness.

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