They’re more than alright.
Since 1976, August 13 has been observed as an annual day dedicated to the minority dexterity — lefties. In honor of the portion of the population which prefers the less popular hand that has to deal with products not suited for them and a Satanic stigma, here are some fun facts on left-handed people.
Quite a roster of celebrities lean left. Among politicians, Barack Obama, John McCain and Benjamin Franklin are all lefties. Musicians who naturally prefer to play their instruments with their left hand include Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix — who used his right hand to write — and Justin Bieber. Other left-handed celebs include Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Lefties by the numbers
An estimated 10 percent of humanity have a dominant left hand — a breakdown that has stayed the same for the past 5,000 years, according to a Northwestern University study. (One percent of these people are thought to be ambidextrous, meaning they prefer neither hand over the other, according to the American Psychological Association.) Men are more likely to be left-handed than women, and the characteristic is thought to be a boon in sports, where lefties’ strengths are not as common.
Why are lefties such a minority?
The reason so few people are left-handed is because humans have evolved to make it easier to work together as a society, researchers say. “The more social the animal — where cooperation is highly valued — the more the general population will trend toward one side,” says Daniel M. Abrams, lead author of the Northwestern study. “The most important factor for an efficient society is a high degree of cooperation. In humans, this has resulted in a right-handed majority.”
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