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.

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


COMMENTS (38)
  • reidi-4-bar
    4/28/2016 - 04:13 p.m.

    Many people by the age of 2 or 3 start to prefer to use one hand more than the other. Typically more people choose to use the right hand more then the left.Only about 10 of people turn out to be lefties. Some people suggest we prefer one hand because we use more advanced tools. I think it is cool that people prefer one hand over the other.

  • audreyv-4-bar
    4/28/2016 - 06:52 p.m.

    Some people are left-handed, because people in the past have had to force themselves doing their daily activities left-handed. By doing your activities left-handed, it will force you to remember the repetition and movement you use, and cause your brain to remember to use your left hand. I found this article very interesting, because I never knew that people years before were forced to use their left hands instead of their right hand.

  • collinf-2-bar
    4/28/2016 - 07:38 p.m.

    Some people are left-handed because that was the hand they first used. Genetics can also play a role.

    I found this article interesting because I have always wondered why some people are righty and some are lefty.

  • samuelh-3-bar
    4/28/2016 - 10:21 p.m.

    Some people era left handed because, they learned how to write writing left handed by having their left hand being tied behind their back, go genetics could have had a role but it could also be on how sophisticated our tools became.




  • maggiec-3-bar
    4/28/2016 - 11:14 p.m.

    Some people are left-handed because of genetics. There has been a lot of research done in the past and there are many conspiracies about left-handed people. In paragraph five it says "we do know that genetics plays a role in handedness. It's possible hundreds of genes are involved." This tells us that it comes from your family's genes and heritage that determines if you're left-handed or right-handed. I thought this article was interesting because I always felt kind of bad for left-handed people since today we live in a right-handed world. I am right-handed so I have a tiny advantage.

  • carlym-4-bar
    4/29/2016 - 01:52 a.m.

    Some people are left handed because they favor that hand more than their right hand. In the article it says, "...most of us have started to prefer using one hand, and it is typically the right." This quote shows how when we are babies we start to favor a certain hand.
    I enjoyed this article because I didn't know that 10% of the people in the world are left handed.

  • brandonl1-wal
    4/29/2016 - 09:00 a.m.

    Some people are left-handed due to genetics and genes. Environment is also a factor in determining handedness. It is suggested that when tools became more sophisticated, handedness became evident.

  • jennetten-wal
    4/29/2016 - 09:06 a.m.

    I find it interesting how in the past, left-handed people had to learn how to write with their favored hand tied behind their back. But I don't get why that was an issue because you shouldn't be forced to change, especially if it's because of what hand you write with. We all should know that genetics plays a role in handedness.

  • victoriak-ver
    4/29/2016 - 10:02 a.m.

    I knew that lefties were more rare than righties, but I didn't know that they only made up 10%! It's kind of cool because I am a leftie too.

  • noahf-3-bar
    4/29/2016 - 10:48 a.m.

    The reason some people are left handed is due to their genetics and sometimes just preference in what hand they prefer. The environment the person lives in also determines what hand you write with.

    I found it interesting that only 10% of people are left handed I thought it would have been more.

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