Thursday, December 14, 2006

Lefties only think they're special

This article is interesting, and it flies in the face of everything my pal Tokyo Tintin has been saying about his left handedness. But, it doesn't say anything about the lifespan of, so called, mixed handed people. Will I die younger than I would if I had a hand preference?

Lefties aren't so different: Study
Suggests there's no evidence proving the ancient concept they're an aberration
Dec. 14, 2006. 01:00 AM
JOSEPH HALL
HEALTH REPORTER


Southpaws are no more sinister than right-handers, according to a massive new study involving more than a quarter of a million people.

Ambidextrous people, on the other hand, show statistically higher levels of dyslexia, hyperactivity, asthma, homosexuality, bisexuality and spatial performance impairments.

The study, which drew 255,000 participants through the British Broadcasting Corporation's Science and Nature website, suggests there's no evidence the ancient concept that lefties are an aberration has any basis in reality ("sinister" comes from a Latin word connoting left).

"The only way in which (left- and right-handed people) are very clearly different from each other is in the use of the hands," said University of Guelph psychologist Michael Peters, who was a co-author on the study published in the current issue of the journal Brain and Cognition along with British colleagues. "In our data we differentiated the people who had a clear commitment to the left and the right hand, and really they didn't differ from each other in the variables that we looked at."

While left-handed prejudices have been a historical mainstay, Peters said many scientists also believed hand preference was connected to psychological and physical conditions.

"It starts out with the idea that it has some ... effects on the (brain's) wiring," Peters said in an interview. "The theory has more or less been debunked, but meanwhile the data are out there."

Theories linking left-handedness to other conditions include:

Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's 2000 study suggested homosexuals, especially lesbians, are more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous.

1990 research that linked left-handedness to both dyslexia and asthma.

Studies that found left-handed people had shorter lifespans on average than righties.

Peters said there's little in the survey to indicate these theories are supported in the population.

On the other hand, men and women who said they had no preference for either hand did exhibit some statistically significant anomalies from their left- or right-handed counterparts. For example, almost 6.9 per cent of mixed-handed males said they were homosexual, while 9.2 per cent said they were bisexual, compared with 6 per cent of male lefties and 5.5 per cent of male righties who said they were homosexual and 4.5 per cent of male lefties and 4 per cent of male righties who said they were bisexual.

But Peters said that this "statistically significant" difference might have little or no meaning in the population at large.

1 comment:

tokyo tintin said...

I think Mr Peters' study was flawed as he didn't measure how fabulous or how sexy any of the left-handed participants were.