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Christian Duño

What makes people left-handed or right-handed?

Did you know that left-handed people make up only 10% of the population?

A recent episode of Aha! tackled left-handedness and showed that it still is right-handed dominant world.
Notice, for instance, how ice cream scoops, bread knives, and scissors are made for right-handed people.

So what causes right- or left-handedness?

Citing a 2017 study, the episode said it hand dominance — whether you turn out to right-handed or left-handed — is a result of gene activities in a woman's spinal cord during pregnancy.

Because of the gene activities in mom's spinal cord, the fetus can already start moving and pick out a favorite hand even before the brain is able to control the body.

Genetic influence is also a big influence on left-handedness.

There is a 9% chance that two right-handers will have a left-handed child.

If one of them is left-handed, the chances are raised to 19%.

If both parents are both left-handers, the chances of their child being left-handed is 26%.


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

While the world is still right-hand dominant, it's not all bad being left-handed.

Left-handers are said to have an edge in baseball, boxing, tennis, and other sports that requires opponents to face each other.

This is because during training, athletes get used to taking hits by right-handed people.

Famous left-handed athletes include boxing icon and senator Manny Pacquiao, tennis player Rafael Nadal, and baseball legend Babe Ruth.

Even rarer than left-handers are those who are ambidextrous — people who can use both their hands effectively.

Julius Landicho can use both hands as a dominant hand, and is able to use either while doing daily activities.

Julius is part of the one percent of the population that are ambidextrous, a strange circumstance that even studies cannot explain.

"Sinasabi ng pagaaral na wala pa talagang reason na nahahanap bakit ang isang tao ay nagiging ambidextrous," said psychologist Raul Gana.

He added that some are actually born left-handed, but due to parental pressure, learned to use their right hand as well.

"Minsan pinipilit ng magulang, minsan left handed yung isang bata, nagagalit yung nanay, dahil para sa kanya ang kailangan na gamitin niya ay right hand niya," he said.

"Ang reality, may mga tao na hindi naman talaga mabidextrous, kung hindi dahil sa practice at lagi nilang ginagamit, ito ang nagiging dominant na rin sa kanila," he added. 


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