Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Righty Tighty... Leftys...Not So Much

Time to debunk another myth...and it's one you may never have heard: left-handers die sooner than rightys do. Unless you are left-handed, this probably doesn't matter to you: after all, you have not been criticized, redirected to the "right" hand in grade school, or found it awkward to use a water fountain ("bubbler" here in Wisconsin). However, for the longest time, it was accepted as fact that those southpaws were destined to be looking up at dirt an average of nine years sooner than the "normal" person.
This "fact" was based on two studies done in the late 1980's and early 1990'3 in Southern California and presented in two well-respected scientific journals: Nature and the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers Diane Halpern and Stanley Coren got detailed information with regard to handedness about 2,000 deceased people in SoCal that seemed to corroborate the nine-year gap in death statistics between right- and left-handers. Thus, it was generally presumed to be evidence of early demise of those who were actively left-handed.
Earlier theories included the fact that knives were made specifically for right-handers and that factory machines were designed to be used by rightys only. As a result, it would seem to be a logical conclusion that lefties would die sooner.
However...more to the point:
1. There are far more people designated as left-handers now that the social stigma of the early 1900's has been lifted (the average is between 10-11% of the population).
2. There are far more left-handers now that school desks and school teachers don't join forces to restructure the penmanship craft. (in fact, I doubt there is much actual penmanship taught anymore).
So, while we right-handers can simply dismiss both sides of the theory of early death, there is one less reason for left-handers to worry about mortality!


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