If this sounds weird you will have to tolerate me. For as long as I can remember everytime I meet people and my being left-handed would be exposed ( Say maybe, I have to use a pen etc) some people would ask me if I am creative- with the assumption that left handed people are all creative. (Of course I am a published author of two Novels and a collection of poems). However I still need to find out if is there a  factual proveable reason behind the assumption/ or the thinking that all lefthanded humans are creative by virtue of them 'using the left side of the brain'?.

Is there a followable scientifical lineage of creative humans( in arts, science, politics etc) who, if they were not left handed, they would not have achieved or contributed to human civilisation?  

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I don't know about that, but isn't the whole idea kind of racist? I mean, it's racist to speculate that black men run faster than white men (even though the evidence is right in front of our eyes), so maybe this idea creates a negative stereotype: "He's right-handed and white, so he's a slow-running guy who isn't very creative."

No wonder left-handed people are sinister.*

* "Sinister" originally meant "left-handed." "Dexter" meant right-handed."

It has nothing to do with race, so strictly speaking it cannot be "racism". 

But it is a form of stereotyping, and when the stereotype is negative and then misapplied (a "tend to be" or "often" becomes an "almost always" or "always" in someone's mind), it can lead to bigotry.  Which I think might be the word you want here.

The term "race" has gone far beyond what it used to mean, which was differences in skin color. For example, the only difference between Middle Eastern Jews and Middle Eastern Arabs has to do with their clothing, the land they occupy, and their religious beliefs. Genetically, they are the same stock, yet anti-Jewish or anti-Arab sentiments are now commonly thought of as racist, so why not handedness?

Anyway, does it matter.? Apparently, right-handed people are thought by some to be less creative. That's just the converse of saying that left-handed people are more creative, isn't it?

I can imagine some HR person in an ad agency giving preference to left-handed applicants for a creative position.

Perhaps this is, in most part, a stereotyping by the majority of us who know little to nothing regarding the left vs. right hand dominance?

StevenCO's point is much more succinctly made than mine and makes me wonder whether others believe that it is also an issue when stereotyping is positive but not based in fact?

Great topic as several have aluded because it does result in labelling for no good purpose in the most part. It also makes me consider what I do know which is mostly anecotal. Some friends & acquaintences who were lefties or had lefty associates have related to some practical difficulties such as use of scissors and other devices which are designed for right hand use. I can appreciate some of the difficulty since I often use these devices in my left hand for manipulation to the task. All of my "first aide type" snips hurt my thumb in this mode.

Wasn't Gerald Ford (one US president, regardless) left handed and regarded as somewhat awkward by the media? I recall reading that the basis was that ceremonies and other interactions were designed for righties.

I attended school in the mid-1950's and recall some of the problems experienced by lefties in my classes. In most cases they were discouraged or actively prevented from using their left hands with the idea that their lives would be easier were they to learn to use their right hands. A couple of friends have stated that they write with their right hands because of this experience although are left handed in other fine use applications. Was this a beneficial practice? Don't know. One friend says, "Yes".

Using ink, especially dipped point and "fountain pen" left handed is a difficulty because of potential smearing of the ink. I do recall that issue on the part of those who later used pens from the left.

Interesting thread and, if not off topic, I would be most grateful to hear more specifics of the difficulties and adaptations of lefties.

Further, Norm, the older-style school desk was designed to be entered on the left, and used on the right - even to the extent of providing an arm support for the right-handed writer.

I know that there are those who say that we are simply born with certain traits, but I had a science professor once tell me you can never separate heredity and environment. As I mentioned earlier, my son is left-handed, and I recall that as a toddler, when he first began feeding himself, his mother, a righty, would place the food bowl/plate in front of him with the spoon on her right, but that would be HIS left - no child that age is going to think to change hands, they're going to grab the utensil with whatever hand they think will get the food in their mouths more quickly. After a year or so of eating under these circumstances, is it implausible that the brain might have wired itself to favor the left?

Since your heart is on the left side is it an advantage to hold a shield with your left hand a sword with your right hand.


I heard that the reason that men's buttons are on the other side is because that a man needed to hold his sword with his right hand and button his buttons with his left and having the buttons on the other side made it easier to do.

The difference in placement right/left is very small. Do you think that this is significant?

The reason the Brits drive on the left while Europe drives on the right is attributed to handedness. If most people are right handed, weapons would most likely be held in the right so shield, if used, would be to the left. In group actions it can be advantageous for all shields to be held on the same side.

Wow, Arch, that brought me to a "walked into the door in the dark" halt!

I've no training or education in early childhood development so only going by intuition but would have to lay my bet on your supposition. My sons are both righties as is my grandson but one has to wonder....

Influence through habitual practice is certainly profoundly powerful in training the young.

I recall those one-side desks well although many of ours had metal frames. A very different schooling from today. One did not talk in class and payed attention under threat of thrown chalk, chalk brushes, ruler across the knuckles so the strength of the influence was very different from today. It is interesting to speculate as to the comparative degree of influence as compared with today's more "touchy feely" approach because it may be the degree of contrast with the average rather to compare the two times?

I tend to credit the model which holds that there are three components: heredity, education & environment.

More likely, this is the desk you're referring to - I used the other, older desk, to specifically point out the, I would assume, very influential right arm rest.

That desk at least had the virtue of not making you sit facing somewhat to the right just to be able to write on a sheet of paper.  Those were in all of my primary and secondary schools (in differing sizes of course!) except that for second and third grade, I was in a brand new school that used a totally different system.

It took college to get me into one of those much more blatantly right handed wooden desks that Archae showed earlier, though I recall once in a while seeing a left handed one.  There were other places where there were chairs behind a long table running the width of the lecture hall, or ones where the desktop hinged upwards then swiveled out of the way--right handed but quite a bit larger.  Anyhow, I was so used to facing somewhat rightwards to use the writing surface that I never went out of my way to go for a left handed desk.

Having no pictoral memory, I'm not completely certain although think that one is closer to the ones we used during middle school.  Strange as would almost certainly recognize the image if was to see it but cannot bring a view to mind or construct one. It's a very strange affliction but have been that way all my life.

My Bell Curve placement is 3 for artistic and 2 for music, which are effectively zero.

Thinking about it, some of our desks were bench like that with the table portion attached to a framework which ran along the floor and then almost straight up.

Like most Jurrasic exhibits, these things are fantastically boring to the young people. (VBG)


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