5 Reasons Being Left-Handed Is A Disadvantage

Left-handed people have remained disadvantaged in almost every situation. It seems innocuous, but being born with this crippling condition means that …

#5. They’ll Die Sooner

Studies have shown that the number of left-handers who make it to old age is drastically lower than the number of their right-handed peers. In short, lefties tend to check out earlier. Why? Well, for one, lefties just have more accidents. The most agreed upon explanation is that lefties get in more accidents simply because they’re trying to maneuver in a world that’s upside down and backward to them.

#4. They’re More Likely to Go Insane

Although left-handed people make up only 10 percent of the population as a whole, they compose a full 20 percent of schizophrenics. If you like those odds, you should know that left-handedness is also associated with dyslexia, ADD and some mood disorders.


#3. They’re Screwed at School

Right out of the box, left-handed kids realize the world wasn’t quite made for them. At school, they do worse on timed exams and suffer awful back and neck cramps in the process. Why? Freaking right-handed desks. And scissors. And everything else.

#2. They’re More Easily Scared

Studies have shown that, if you’re left-handed, you’re twice as likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Not that they don’t have reason to be afraid, considering that …

#1. Hating Them Is Ingrained in Our Culture

Left-handers in the Western World are kind of lucky that they only need to worry about annoyingly awkward tools. In certain parts of Africa, Europe and much of the Far East, it’s actually offensive to do anything with your left hand besides wipe your ass. For this and other reasons, the left hand is considered unclean and carries a cultural stigma.

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Image: Left-Handed Problems

Do Lefties Have More Health Risks?

Handedness, as the dominance of one hand over the other is called, provides a window into the way our brains are wired, experts say. And it may help shed light on disorders related to brain development, like dyslexia, schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, which are more common in left-handed people.

Other recent research suggests that mixed-handedness—using different hands for daily tasks and not having a dominant one—may be even more strongly linked than left-handedness to ADHD and possibly other conditions. What causes people not to favor their right hand is only partly due to genetics—even identical twins, who have 100 percent of the same genes, don’t always share handedness.

Babies born to older mothers or at a lower birth weight are more likely to be lefties, for example. And mothers who were exposed to unusually high levels of stress during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to a left-handed child. A review of research, published in 2009 in the journal Neuropsychologia, estimated that about 25 percent of the variability in handedness is due to genetics.

Left-handedness appears to be associated with a greater risk for a number of psychiatric and developmental disorders. Links between left-handedness and dyslexia, ADHD and some mood disorders have also been reported in research studies.

The reasons for this aren’t clear. Scientists speculate it could be related to a concept known as brain lateralization. The brain has two halves. Each performs primarily separate, specialized functions, such as language processing, which mainly takes place in the left hemisphere. There is lots of communication between the hemispheres.

 

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