Thursday marks the annual celebration of left-handed individuals with Left Handers’ Day. The date was created 24 years ago in an effort to spread awareness about every day issues lefties face and for left-handers to show their pride, according to the Left-Handers Club website. While lefties celebrate their special day, using the hashtag #lefthandersday on social media, here are five facts and answers to frequently asked questions about left-handedness:
How many people in the world are left-handed?
While there are over seven billion people are this planet, only 10 percent of the general human population is left-handed, reports Live Science. According to the site, for every 90 right-handed individuals in the world, there are 10 left-handed people. That statistic is believed to have remained the same “for more than 5,000 years.”
Do left-handed people have a shorter life expectancy?
Don’t fret, lefties. Despite the myth that left-handed individuals have a shorter life expectancy, a report from Psychology Today debunks the idea. According to their findings, the myth originated in 1988 when a paper titled “Do right-handers live longer?” studied baseball players’ death records and found that those who were lefties died at an earlier age. A separate study in 1994 found the death myth not to be case, writing, “Left handedness is not, in general, associated with an increase in mortality.”
Which celebrities are left-handed?
There are dozens of A-list celebrities that are left-handed. Among those are Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie, broadcaster Oprah Winfrey, "Mission Impossible" star Tom Cruise, comedian Jerry Seinfeld and pop singer Justin Bieber, to name a few. There are several presidents who are lefties, including out current POTUS Barack Obama. And don’t forget about the British royal family; Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his father, Charles, Prince of Wales, are left-handed as well.
Why are left-handed people called southpaws?
If you’re left-handed, you may have heard someone refer to you as a southpaw. But what does it mean? The meaning behind the nickname is quite easy to uncover. According to Dictionary.com the word simply means “a person who is left-handed.” In sports, the name is used when talking about a player, most commonly a pitcher, who throws with his/her left hand or a boxer who “leads with the right hand and stands with the right foot forward, using the left hand for the most powerful blows.”
Do left handers have a higher IQ?
With notable figures such as Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin having been lefties, there has long been the myth that left-handed individuals are smart than right-handed individuals. However, some studies have found the opposite to be true.
As reported by Psychology Today, a study conducted by the Department of Psychology, Bedford College and Department of Psychiatry, St Mary's Hospital, University of London and Department of Physical Anthropology, University of Cambridge in 1983 found that righties were more likely to possess a higher IQ. However, a separate study, conducted in 1976, found that “the hypothesis of no difference in intellectual and cognitive performance between right and left-handed subjects can be accepted as true.” A more recent finding, published in the Journal of Neuropsychology in 2006, and reported by HowStuffWorks.com, suggests that lefties do have the upper hand when it comes to processing multiple stimuli.