History of the Left Handed People





History of Left Handed People - sounds sinister!

It is fairly safe to assume that those interested in the history of left handed people, will indeed be left handed people themselves. Right-handed people basically take their dominance for granted. However, it is a fascinating subject for all, because almost everybody knows a “leftie”, be it family member, close friend, work colleague, school pal, whoever.

Looking into the history of left handed people will shock today’s generation when they learn that in previous centuries, they would be spanked in school and chastised at home for being different. Their left hands would be tied behind their backs, in an effort to force them to write with their “correct” hand.

There used to be extreme and severe suspicions of anything left. In the history of left handed people, the Latin term for left is sinister, which in modern English can be interpreted as meaning “evil”; “menacing”; or “threatening”. By contrast, “dexter” is the Latin word for right, which is used in a complimentary way when talking of someone well skilled in the hands, i.e. “dexterous”.

In researching the history of left handed people, scientists have discovered that the left-hander uses both sides of their brain evenly, while the right-hander is controlled more from the left. One theory, with regard to hand preference, is that it is determined from two manifestations of a gene at the same point. These genes are referred to as the “C ” and “D” genes. The D gene is more numerous and consequently leads to the majority of the population favouring their right-hand. The C gene is less likely to occur, but when it does, the hand preference of the individual will be split 50/50 between right and left.

Throughout the history of left handed people, there has been many only too willing to cast disparaging remarks. One such person was a 19th-century Italian criminologist named Cesare Lombroso , who famously spoke of “Left-handedness being a stigma of degeneracy”. Such statements have thankfully long since disappeared from the views of the world, and it is worth remembering that, if ever on the receiving end of any derogatory comments from a “rightie”; the left side of your brain controls the right side of your body, and the right side of your brain controls the left side of your body; so only left handed people are in their right mind!

© 2004