Wednesday, August 13, 2014

#LeftHandersDay: Research Reveals 6 Surprising Facts About Left Handed People

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August 13th is Left Handers' Day and the day is set aside for left handed people to encourage each other and lobby against different forms of discrimination from the general society.

This year, 2014, marks the 22nd annual celebration. The first celebration took place in 1976 to promote awareness of left handers' and the struggles they face with the day-to-day products catered towards the right-handed predominant population.

It is estimated that up to 10 percent of the world's population are left-handers and even now, many are still discriminated in society for being born that way.

Scientists have studied left handers' for a while now to see what differences they boast in comparison to their peers. Check out six surprising discoveries they found below:

1. Left-handers are more likely to develop schizophrenia. A whopping 20 percent of schizophrenics are said to be left-handers, which is a strong proportion considering they only make up 10 percent of the world's population. What's more, being left handed has been associated with mood disorders, ADD and dyslexia.

2. Left-handers have a shorter lifespan. It has been quoted, for what seems to be ages, that left-handed people have a shorter life span by nine years than their right-handed peers. This information was shared in the 1980s in two scientific journals -- "Nature" and the "New England Journal of Medicine" -- by psychologists Diane Halpern and Stanley Corenboth. But critics of the study have pointed out that some of the subjects of the study could have been right-handed, since it was common to train a child to use the that hand, and thus, the data was erroneous.

3. Left-handers do worse on timed exams. It could be because of the right-handed desks in school or awkward sitting positions, but left-handers do worse on timed exams. Lefties, know that you can ask your school for special seating on your exam to accommodate your hand dominance!

4. Left-handers are most scared. You know that lefties suffer from more disorders in the aforementioned point above, but did you know they're twice as likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder? If you're curious why, then know that it is because left-handers have a dominant right brain, which is responsible for the symptoms of PTSD.

5. Left-handers will be worse at languages. The left hemisphere of our brain is responsible for language function, according to Psychology Today, and this is the less dominant hemisphere for lefties. As such, they have less dominance for language.

6. Left-handers are better at certain sports. Depending on which sport, lefties may have an advantage. For instant, in sports where opponents are facing off each other (e.g. boxing, tennis) lefties have an advantage due to the "fighting hypothesis," which states that lefties are better away to combat their opponent's rightward movement with their dominant left hand.

Are you left handed and have been discriminated against? Please share some of your experiences with others, to educate them.

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