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 a question. 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. It is typically the right hand. 

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. 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. Scratching with their dominant hand of course! (It's going to get worse.)

Handedness in humans probably goes way back. It goes back perhaps as far as our Neanderthal ancestors. It could have been 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. That forces many a lefty's hand when it comes to using scissors and writing at a desk. Or even when they are 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 (30)
  • markm-3-bar
    4/29/2016 - 01:50 a.m.

    Some people are left-handed because of either their genes or maybe there environment.
    I liked this article because I have always wondered about how people
    became which hand they are today and why. My sister is a left handed person and so is my aunt so she may of gotten the genes from her. She sometimes has to go out of her way to buy different stuff because the right handed stuff doesn't work or fit for her. As the article says, "We are basically a right-handed world."



  • elliew-bel
    4/29/2016 - 09:34 a.m.

    Because they learn to use their left hand and genes play a role.

  • rachela-bel
    4/29/2016 - 09:34 a.m.

    Well some people like me are left handed because of alot of genes

  • jenniek-bel
    4/29/2016 - 09:37 a.m.

    Some people are left handed because of genetics.

  • bryanr-fig
    4/29/2016 - 02:14 p.m.

    i think it is very cool that many people can write with there left hand and they don't have to write with the right i wish i can be one of these people.

  • alexk-kut
    5/01/2016 - 06:30 p.m.

    im more of a righty but i can write with my left hand and i can kick and play sports left handed so isnt this called ambidextrous

  • jennas-kut
    5/01/2016 - 09:38 p.m.

    My Dad is left handed and I have always wondered why. Because of this article I know it is because of genetics probably.Its pretty cool how they could tell why you use one hand more than the other.

  • kaylinh-kut
    5/03/2016 - 07:43 a.m.

    I think that is really interesting that we usally use the right hand over the left, I think that maybe it has something with the that we are all different with different bodies and it is just the ways our bodies react to certin things. I think if scientist discover more things about this sunject, we could get to the bottom of this.

  • tylerm-
    5/04/2016 - 11:03 a.m.

    In n baseball lots of people are left handed.

  • zoet-
    5/04/2016 - 11:04 a.m.

    I think some people are right handed or left handed because, when baby's start to use there hands, they use the hand that is more comfortable for them.

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