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, often known as southpaws. 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 we develop into righties and lefties is a question that 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, although 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. That 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.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 123 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are some people left-handed?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (41)
  • justiny-2-bar
    4/29/2016 - 12:14 p.m.

    Some people are left-handed because our minds slowly develop a preferred hand and some people prefer their left hand. I found it interesting that at age 2-3 you start to choose a hand. I found it surprising that only 10 percent of the world are lefties.

  • italiag-wal
    4/29/2016 - 12:38 p.m.

    I think it's strange how left-handed people, such as myself are in the minority. Only 10% of people being left handed. Why is the right hand more commonly ones dominant hand? Would it be like when certain traits are being passed down? Would one trait dominate the other trait? And if so, what causes people to be ambidextrous?

  • elizabetha-wal
    4/29/2016 - 01:52 p.m.

    One reason most people are right-handed is because genetics plays a role in handedness. It is possible hundreds of genes are involved. Also, it depends on your environment like in the past, lefties often had to learn how to write with their right hand while their left hand was behind their back. But, besides that why are still only 10% of humans lefties?

  • kayleenv-wal
    4/29/2016 - 01:55 p.m.

    I don't know why, I just find it strange that so little amounts of people in our world are left handed. The right hand came to dominate the left. Our world is basically a right handed world. It's interesting how lefties were forced to learn how to write with their favored hand tied behind their back.

  • shaelyng-ver
    4/29/2016 - 07:30 p.m.

    I am a lefty, and some of these facts are really cool. I though way more than 10 percent of us were left-handed!

  • nicholasl-2-bar
    5/01/2016 - 02:26 p.m.

    Some people are left handed because of genetics. It may also be because of your environment. A long time ago, people believed that being left handed meant that you were evil. I liked this article because it talked about hands. I was surprised that 10% of people are left handed.

  • andrewa-ver
    5/02/2016 - 08:40 a.m.

    This is because of the environment you live in and your genes play a major role in your dominant hand. But scientist still aren't real sure about the real cause of why people are left handed.

  • claires-ver
    5/02/2016 - 10:33 a.m.

    It is interesting that we favor hand at the age of two. It is also interesting that people thought lefties were capable of witchcraft.

  • vincentl-ver
    5/02/2016 - 01:33 p.m.

    I believe that scientists should go a little more in depth for why we use our dominant hand and the article should include more factors about the subject. I think that there should be a bigger and better paragraph explaining why this is.

  • lyler-ver
    5/02/2016 - 01:33 p.m.

    Some people are left handed possibly because of genetics, but we still don't know for sure.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT