Why do we use one hand more than the other? (Thinkstock)
Why do we use one hand more than the other?
Lexile

You asked us, why do we use one hand more than the other?

By the age of 2 or 3, most of us have started to prefer using one hand, and it is typically the right.

Only about 10 percent of us end up as lefties. If you are a lefty, you've probably been called a southpaw. They are basically all of the evil, witchy, criminal-type people out there. Just kidding! I'm just trying to mess with you, because we don't believe in that crazy talk anymore.

But why do we develop into righties and lefties? That question has more than a few scientists scratching their heads - with their dominant hand of course. (It's going to get worse.)

Handedness in humans probably goes way back, maybe as far as our Neanderthal ancestors or even earlier. Some researchers suggest the trait evolved as our tools became more sophisticated. 
 
But why the right hand came to dominate the left is anybody's guess. We do know that genetics plays a role in handedness. It's possible hundreds of genes are involved.
But, a person's environment is important, too. Just ask your grandma. In the past, lefties often had to learn how to write with their favored hand tied behind their back.
 
And even today, we basically live in a right-handed world, which forces many a lefty's hand when it comes to using scissors, writing at a desk or even zipping up a jacket. 
 
Until, that is, you get a lefty into the boxing ring or at home plate. That's when an element of surprise gives them the upper hand.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are some people left-handed?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (274)
  • johnl-6-bar
    4/28/2016 - 02:56 p.m.

    Scientists do not know why some people are left handed, but the article joked that lefty's are witches and evil. They also guessed that being a lefty had to deal with hundreds of genes. The environment around people also contributes to which hand you use.

  • pipern-2-bar
    4/28/2016 - 03:50 p.m.

    Some people are left-handed simply because that is what they are used to."By the age of 2 or 3, most of us have started to prefer using one hand, and it is typically the right."(Paragraph 2) Most people get the right hand,but mostly because of genetics. I like this article because I always wondered how some people have a dominant left hand.

  • kaleal-2-bar
    4/28/2016 - 04:00 p.m.

    It isn't exactly known why some people favor their left hand and others favor their right, but the article states, "Some researchers suggest the trait evolved as our tools became more sophisticated" and "We do know that genetics plays a role in handedness. It's possible hundreds of genes are involved". I found this article interesting because I am left handed and I have always wondered why the right hand is used by society more often.

  • brandonm-fig
    4/28/2016 - 04:04 p.m.

    Why did lefties have to learn to write with their left had tied up to something.

  • leaho-kut
    4/28/2016 - 06:44 p.m.

    Only some people are left handed and most people are right. I think that we should make more stuff for left hand people to use. Like scissors. It is not really fair to left handed people because they have to use only right hand things.

  • tylera-1-bar
    4/28/2016 - 07:33 p.m.

    Some people are left handed because of genetics. At an early stage in life people start to prefer to use one hand. The persons environment helps develop handedness in a person too. I chose this article because I am right handed and I think it would be cool to be a lefty sometimes in life.

  • josiec-1-bar
    4/28/2016 - 07:42 p.m.

    Some people are left handed because, "By the age of 2 or 3, most of us have started to prefer using one hand, and it is typically the right. Only about 10 percent of us end up as lefties." (paragraph 1-2) People are left handed possibly becuase of their genetics and thought to believe that hundreds of genes are involved. These genes could have began in the Neanderthal ages. My opinion is that I think it is interesting that most people in the world end up right-handed instead of left-handed.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    4/28/2016 - 08:27 p.m.

    The scientists might have been thinking why people use the right than the other hand which they had been thinking why people had been using their right-hand than using their left hand to do something. The people might have been able to use their left hand but mostly they are more likely to use their right hand that would be easier doing something with their right hands than their left hand. The people might have been able to know a little to use their left hand than with their right hand which they know a lot to use their right hand than left. People might have been asking themselves why do they use their right hand more than the other hand which they would be seeing a little people who are comfortable with left hand and most people who are comfortable with right hand.
    Critical Thinking Question: Why are some people left-handed?
    Answer: I know that some people are left handed because if had been used by their genes that are telling the person to do something with their left hand or with their right hand.

  • taylorh-4-bar
    4/28/2016 - 08:37 p.m.

    Some people are left handed because by a young age, you start to use one the preferred hand over the other, but it is mostly the right. The article says that, "By the age of 2 or 3, most of us have started to prefer using one hand, and it is typically the right." I found this article interesting because I thought it all had to do with genetics, not being able to use the hand most preferred as well.

  • calvinh-4-bar
    4/28/2016 - 08:45 p.m.

    Some people are left handed due to "hundreds of genes (being) involved" (paragraph 6) in the making of a left handed person. Also, how your parents write is also involved in how they teach you to write. If you're taught right-handed as a child, you will most likely be right-handed, and vice versa.
    I chose this article because I am left-handed and I found it interesting that I make up some of the 10% of left-handed people.

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