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Old 09-19-2007, 11:45 AM   #1
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More Lefties Now?

For those lefties like me among us! I love the part about lefties trouble in finding a marriage partner!

FOXNews.com - Study: Number of Left-Handed People Increasing in Britain - Science News | Current Articles

Lefties have been bouncing back in recent decades following a decline in the beginning of the 20th century, a new study shows.
While lefties currently make up about 11 percent of the population, earlier studies found only 3 percent of those born in 1900 were left-handed. These claims led Ian Christopher McManus of the University College London and his colleagues to learn more about this change.
The most likely reason that lefties dropped in numbers at the turn of the 20th century was possible social influence brought about by universal education and the industrial revolution.
These two factors would have forced lefties into the spotlight as they learned to write in the classroom or clumsily used machines built for right-handers.
"That would have exacerbated the stigma that any visible minority can experience, and the result could have been that left-handers found it more difficult to find marriage partners, marrying later, and hence having fewer children so that fewer of the relevant genes went into the gene pool," McManus told LiveScience. "And we do have evidence that around the turn of the 20th century left-handers had fewer children than right-handers."
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:49 AM   #2
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For those lefties like me among us! I love the part about lefties trouble in finding a marriage partner!

FOXNews.com - Study: Number of Left-Handed People Increasing in Britain - Science News | Current Articles

Lefties have been bouncing back in recent decades following a decline in the beginning of the 20th century, a new study shows.
While lefties currently make up about 11 percent of the population, earlier studies found only 3 percent of those born in 1900 were left-handed. These claims led Ian Christopher McManus of the University College London and his colleagues to learn more about this change.
The most likely reason that lefties dropped in numbers at the turn of the 20th century was possible social influence brought about by universal education and the industrial revolution.
These two factors would have forced lefties into the spotlight as they learned to write in the classroom or clumsily used machines built for right-handers.
"That would have exacerbated the stigma that any visible minority can experience, and the result could have been that left-handers found it more difficult to find marriage partners, marrying later, and hence having fewer children so that fewer of the relevant genes went into the gene pool," McManus told LiveScience. "And we do have evidence that around the turn of the 20th century left-handers had fewer children than right-handers."
I'm a leftie...........
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:54 AM   #3
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Leftie here as well.

At the beginning of the 20th C, schools forced many lefties to use their right hands - so, fewer lefties. Of course, you couldn't read anything they wrote.

My grandmother was forced to use her right hand in school - so learned to write and use a scissors right handed. everything she did at home - left handed. When my mother's school tried to force her to change (1920s), my grandmother went in and raised holy h*ll. My daughter is lefty, too.
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:04 PM   #4
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For those lefties like me among us! I love the part about lefties trouble in finding a marriage partner!
And it gives us an excuse for clumsiness. At last! Oh, yeah, and I like the part about our brains being arranged differently. I'm a supressed lefty.

At our annual work holiday lunch there are two supressed lefties and one functioning as a lefty. The other southpaws are the ones I most easily relate to; birds of a feather?
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:52 PM   #5
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I work for two lefties as well. Spooky! As unclemick says..INTJ lefties rule!
I wanted to use the cool lefty scissors in kindergarten, not those lame righty scissors.
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Old 09-19-2007, 01:24 PM   #6
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My grandmother (aged 90 now) is a lefty. She used to play field hockey - and shot left. Later, she taught Mom how to bat...lefthanded....Mom later taught me how to hit a softball too...lefthanded! (am now a switch hitter )

Lefties are cool!
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Old 09-19-2007, 01:58 PM   #7
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Yeah, lefties are cool. Oh, you are talking about handedness, not politics. Nevermind.
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:01 PM   #8
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Count me in as a leftie.

My grandfather tried to "train" me out of it, but failed. I suspect that kind of thing may be why the numbers declined before 1900.

I bet there are fewer lefties in the Islamic world, where the right hand dips into the communal food bowl and the left hand cleans up the trash, so to speak. When I traveled in Muslim countries, I had some difficulty due to my "eating disability" having to eat right handed, and without silverware. Of course, I could have dipped my left paw into the pot and had it all to myself after that...

I wonder if there are any studies on the effect of trying to "force" someone out of being left-handed. Probably not a good thing. Yet as all lefties know, the world is full of right-handed devices, so in some ways this may do the same thing.
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:32 PM   #9
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The Nuns in Catholic schools really tried to convert all of us "lefties" maybe that is why there was the decline earlier in this century. I do not think they do that any more. I can attest to BOSCO's comment having spent some time in Turkey and other places in the ME. The Turks were much more tolerant however.

Today I am still officially left-handed (writing) but do many other things right-handed (Catching, Batting, Golfing (if I did it). Even my Track Ball is right handed.
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Old 09-19-2007, 03:16 PM   #10
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I wonder if there are any studies on the effect of trying to "force" someone out of being left-handed. Probably not a good thing. Yet as all lefties know, the world is full of right-handed devices, so in some ways this may do the same thing.
You can retrain or shift, but to do so you are rewiring or redirecting the circuits of the brain.

As a general rule, the left side of the brain controls the right side motor skills and visa versa. If you are naturally a lefty, the right hemisphere dominates fine motor skills. In the absence of injury, when a lefty writes as a righty, the right-side motor strip signals the left-side motor strip which then signals the right hand to function. With practice, the non-dominate side gets better at it and may take on a more direct role, as would happen after rehab due to injury/stroke or if you are forced to switch growing up, but generally the non-dominate side never gets as refined as your naturally dominate side. So, always a bit clumsier and clunkier.

Handedness also relates to the extent to which one side of the brain controls other skills (called lateralization). Lateralization differs by sex (males more lateralized than females) and handedness (right handers more lateralized than lefties) and there is a continuum of handedness, all of which makes the science very messy. But, left handed women, who are the least "lateralized", tend to have better recoveries from stroke and injury because skills are more diffusely organized and other areas can take over more easily. OTOH, strong lateralization is thought to contribute to better math and science skills.

sorry you asked?
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:08 PM   #11
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I'm left handed. When I taught school I wrote left handed on the blackboard.

I shoot right for hockey and bat right at baseball. I use scissors in my right hand.
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Old 09-19-2007, 05:16 PM   #12
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You can retrain or shift, but to do so you are rewiring or redirecting the circuits of the brain.

As a general rule, the left side of the brain controls the right side motor skills and visa versa. If you are naturally a lefty, the right hemisphere dominates fine motor skills. In the absence of injury, when a lefty writes as a righty, the right-side motor strip signals the left-side motor strip which then signals the right hand to function. With practice, the non-dominate side gets better at it and may take on a more direct role, as would happen after rehab due to injury/stroke or if you are forced to switch growing up, but generally the non-dominate side never gets as refined as your naturally dominate side. So, always a bit clumsier and clunkier.

Handedness also relates to the extent to which one side of the brain controls other skills (called lateralization). Lateralization differs by sex (males more lateralized than females) and handedness (right handers more lateralized than lefties) and there is a continuum of handedness, all of which makes the science very messy. But, left handed women, who are the least "lateralized", tend to have better recoveries from stroke and injury because skills are more diffusely organized and other areas can take over more easily. OTOH, strong lateralization is thought to contribute to better math and science skills.

sorry you asked?
I'm not sorry I asked at all. Thanks for the information.

It sort of reinforces what I have believed--that it is good for me to practice doing things with the opposite hand. I also abandoned the QWERTY keyboard a few years back and switched to Dvorak. It slowed me down for about 6 months, but now feels very natural. Burned some new pathways on that conversion!
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:23 PM   #13
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Are there any lefties that are so left dominant as some/many righties are?

I'm right handed and can't do much w/ my left hand. If i had to write w/ my left, it'd look worse than my 4 yr olds...

I'm just asking since i'm watching my budding lefty daughter learn how to handwrite...she's mostly using left but also can do most words with her right (a little messier)...so if we all learned to use both at her age, would our brains be wired differently?

i'd heard that doing that was partially discouraged because of the lateral/integration thing...but it's fascinating to ponder nonetheless..
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:54 AM   #14
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dad was a leftie forced early in life to write right handed. for most everything else he was left dominant.

when i think of it i try to use my left hand more than i normally would. not that i'm practicing ambidexterity, i just figure that way i'll wear out more evenly.
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:07 AM   #15
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I'm left handed but somewhat ambidextrous. I play most sports left-handed but play golf and shoot pool right-handed. I can also switch hit, although I usually bat lefty. I do love my leftie scissors.

My father is leftie and had to write right-handed in school. He doesn't have the best handwriting!
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:07 AM   #16
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I'm left handed but somewhat ambidextrous. I play most sports left-handed but play golf and shoot pool right-handed. I can also switch hit, although I usually bat lefty. I do love my leftie scissors.

My father is leftie and had to write right-handed in school. He doesn't have the best handwriting!
Sounds like me...are we related??
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:19 AM   #17
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Are there any lefties that are so left dominant as some/many righties are?

I'm right handed and can't do much w/ my left hand. If i had to write w/ my left, it'd look worse than my 4 yr olds...

I'm just asking since i'm watching my budding lefty daughter learn how to handwrite...she's mostly using left but also can do most words with her right (a little messier)...so if we all learned to use both at her age, would our brains be wired differently?

i'd heard that doing that was partially discouraged because of the lateral/integration thing...but it's fascinating to ponder nonetheless..
Bright eyed, I think there are very left-dominant lefties. My right-handed writing is terrible. The only thing I do right-handed is scissoring. I'm at a loss if I run into a left-handed pair of scissors. 50 years of practice, I guess.

My best wishes to your young lefty!

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Old 09-20-2007, 09:30 AM   #18
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Are there any lefties that are so left dominant as some/many righties are?
Not many. A sample handedness questionnaire:

Which hand do you use to hold scissors? (scissors)
With which hand do you draw? (draw)
With which hand do you screw the top off a bottle? (screw top)
With which hand do you deal cards? (deal cards)
Which hand do you use to hold a toothbrush when cleaning teeth? (toothbrush)
With which hand do you use a bottle opener? (bottle opener)
With which hand do you throw a ball away? (throwing)
Which hand do you use to hold a hammer? (hammer)
With which hand do you thread a needle? (thread needle)
With which hand do you hold a racket when playing tennis? (tennis racket)
With which hand do you open the lid of a smart box? (lid)
With which hand do you turn a key? (key)
With which hand do you cut a cord with a knife? (knife)
With which hand do you stir with a spoon? (stir)
With which hand do you use an eraser on paper? (eraser)
With which hand do you strike a match? (match)

On this assessment, you get 0 for left, 2 for right and 1 for both. (range of 0-32). Even strongly left handed individuals are more likely to use their right hand for some activities (especially scissors), and many who come out in the mid-range write with their left, but use right for other things. So, as a group, left handers are generally less strongly left handed and generally less lateralized. This correlates to different ways of processing motor skills and generally language and number skills compared to right handers and also results in different recovery after injury.
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:41 AM   #19
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Both my daughters are left handed, but both myself and their mother are right handed, and so are all four of their grandparents. How'd that happen...milkman maybe?:confused:
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:45 AM   #20
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BTW, I score a perfect 0 (extreme left) on this handedness questionaire.
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