Little known facts about lefties

The current president of the United States, Barack Obama, is left-handed

The current president of the United States, Barack Obama, is left-handed

(*DISCLAIMER: These are just stats, they don’t apply to everyone*)

By: Nate Thomas

They make up 10% of our population, and chances are everyone reading this article is one, or knows at least one. However, whether you are a left-handed person or not, there are things you might not know about the left-handed people in our world.

They Tend to Die Sooner

When you picture your life, chances are, you picture the part of being old. You picture it after the whole getting married, having a family, a nice career, lots of money, but that doesn’t matter. Getting old is where you end up. Well, lefties, I have some bad news.  Recent studies have shown that the chances of  lefties reaching old age is significantly lower than that of right-handed people. One study, conducted by The New England Journal of Medicine, reports that, on average, right-handers live to be 75 years old, while left-handers tend to die at age 66.

They Are Involved in More Accidents

So, what possible reason could there be for left-handed people hurting and sometimes killing themselves accidentally?  Maybe they are just clumsy?  Some cultures believe that it is because they are an insult to the natural order of things, and nature is trying to right the wrong.  The real explanation, at least the one that is most agreed upon at the moment, is not that they are the issue, the world around them is.

Our world is constructed to be convenient for the majority, right-handers, which leads to more car accidents for left-handed people.  A perfect example of this, are the road laws of the United States.  We drive on the right side of the road, you can turn right at stoplights, and parking lots are set up with this flow of traffic.  So imagine you are driving down a busy road, and a squirrel jumps out in front of your car (really whatever happens to the squirrel is its own fault for trying to play real life Frogger).  Your automatic reaction would be to swerve out of the way.  Right-handed people would most likely swerve right, onto the sidewalk, and maybe doing something humourous like crashing into a fire hydrant.  Left-handed people on the other hand are more likely to swerve left, into oncoming traffic, which would create a far less humorous situation.

They Are More Susceptible to Sickness

Due to their different brain chemistry, left-handed people are 2.7 times more likely to have immune disorder, and 2.3 times more likely to have been hospitalized at some point in their lives.

They Are More Likely to Suffer From Mental Disorders

As I mentioned before, lefties make up 10% of our population.  That is why it is so shocking that left-handed people make up 20% of our documented schizophrenics– maybe even more than that.  A study conducted by researchers from Yale University and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, found that, when studying people with mental disorders, that 11% of those studied with mood disorders, like bipolar, depression, etc., were left-handed, while 40% of the patients studied that had schizophrenia were left-handed.

Lefties Are More Likely to Get Scared and Angry

Left-handed people are more easily scared than right-handed people. At least according to a recent study by the British Psychology Society.  For this study, participants watched a very short clip from the movie The Silence of the Lambs. After finishing the clip, they were asked to recall events from it. Lefties were far more likely to show signs of PTSD than their right-handed peers, including giving broken up descriptions and making more mistakes. The clip was only 8 minutes long.

Left-handed people are easier to anger. So lefties, the next time you get into an argument with your right-handed friend, they might move on quickly, while you hold a grudge.  You may be able to blame your handedness.  According to a study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, lefties are more susceptible to negative emotions, and have a harder time processing their feelings.  This is due to the fact that, unlike right-handed people, lefties show an imbalance in activity between the left and right hemispheres when trying to process their moods.

However, Left-Handers Make Better Artists

According to the American Journal of Psychology, there is some evidence that left-handed people are better at divergent thinking.  Divergent thinking is a way to generate ideas that explores many possible solutions, something I wish I had.  Unfortunately this may lead to lower paychecks.  According to The Wall Street Journal, left-handers’ salaries, on average, are 10 percent lower that right-handers.

Not to worry though! There are plenty of other positive things about being a southpaw.

Want to learn more about left-handed people? We hope Nate’s article has sparked an interest in readers to do their own research.

 

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