Left-handed people are a rare breed – only 10 per cent of the general population is a lefty.
And weirdly, we don’t know why. Some scientists believe that lefties simply lack the right-handed gene, but the theory has never been proven and the ‘right-handed gene’ has never been located.
While having to learn to use right-handed products, eat, and play sports left-handed may seem like an inconvenience for some, it can actually be an advantage. But there are also some downsides.
If you’re a lefty, there’s a good chance these facts may relate to you.
It provides an advantage in sports
Southpaws dominate in tennis, boxing, and pitching in baseball – basically, any one-on-one sport. They can train against right-handed players and adjust quickly with lefties.
It’s more common in twins
Twins are two times as likely to be left-handed. According to Buzzfeed, if both parents are left-handed, 50 per cent of their offspring will be left-handed. But if they’re righties, they only have a two per cent chance of having a lefty.
Statistically, the older the mother is, the more likely she is to have a left-handed child.
It’s linked to a higher risk of breast cancer
Left-handedness may be an indicator of intrauterine exposure to oestrogens, which may increase the risk of breast cancer, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Researchers in a separate study also found lefties were more at risk than righties – especially after menopause.
It’s linked to an increased risk of mental health problems
Studies show that 40 per cent of people with schizophrenia are left-handed, as opposed to 10 per cent of the general population, according to a 2013 Yale University study. Studies have also found links between left-handedness and dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and some mood disorders.
It’s linked to sleep problems
In a 2011 University of Toledo survey of 100 sleep clinic patients, research found that 94 per cent of lefties have experienced disruptive limb movements during sleep, as opposed to 69 per cent of righties.