I’m left-handed, so whenever I see an article about being left-handed, I can’t help but read it.  Because these articles usually say nice things like “lefties tend to be geniuses,” I tend to believe every word (I skip over the downsides of being left-handed, like shorter life span).  According to this article, I should be left-handed: I’m smart, dyslexic, visual-spatial and I have been doing “architecture” for years (IC layout).  All I can say is “Horary for the Lefties!”

Left-Handedness Stumps Science

(Exerpt from Tia Ghose, LiveScience Staff Writer)

Stable minority

No one knows why lefties became a stable minority. Whereas many animals favor one or another paw, the number of righties and lefties is roughly equally distributed in most animals.  But between 5 percent and 20 percent of people are lefties in different populations.  “In every population of the world studied so far, we always find a minority of left-handed people.”

Genes or environment?

While several researchers have found a few genes implicated in handedness, many genes are probably at play.  And the environment clearly plays a big role: Identical twins often have different dominant hands.

About half of left-handedness may be a byproduct of damage during fetal development or birth. Studies have found southpaws have higher rates dyslexia, schizophrenia and immune problems, such as allergies and lupus.  Because males are overrepresented among lefties, some scientists propose exposure to testosterone in the womb may affect handedness.

Subtle differences

Lefties may have a higher propensity to certain health problems, but they are also overrepresented amongst geniuses.  Four of the last seven presidents have been lefties, and Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin were southpaws as well.  Lefties tend to excel in fields that require excellent visual-spatial abilities, such as architecture and graphic design, he said. Southpaws are also overrepresented among chess masters, but tend to be underrepresented in science.