Why are people left handed?

Left-handedness, sometimes referred to as "sinistrally" means that we prefer to use our left hand rather than our right hand for routine activities, such as writing, eating etc. Another popular term for left-handed people is “southpaw.” This term originated in the sport of baseball. Approximately 10 percent of the world's population are left-handed. Some people may be very strongly right-handed or left-handed, while others may be ambidextrous and have a certain level of comfort with both hands.

Scientists have observed that left-handers are born that way and left-handedness tends to run in families. So, it is assumed that left-handedness has a genetic component to it. In 2007, scientists discovered a gene that appears to be related to left-handedness. However, researchers point out that it is a complex issue and no definite conclusions can be reached yet.

Left-handers face certain issues that most of us right-handers never think about. For example, most tools that we use in our day to day activities, such as scissors, cameras, can openers, rulers, computer mice and watches, are mass-produced for right-handed users. Left-handers often have trouble using these objects. But nowadays, there are more manufacturers who make special left-handed versions of many items.

Some famous left-handed personalities:
US Presidents: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford
Historical Political Figures: Benjamin Franklin, Joan of Arc, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napolean Bonaparte, Prince Charles and Prince William of England, Fidel Castro
Artists: M.C. Escher, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci (Ambidextrous)
Actors: Charlie Chaplin, Amitabh Bachchan, Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Marilyn Monroe 

Athletes: Pelé, Mark Spitz, Larry Bird, John McEnroe, Randy Johnson, Lou Brock

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