Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Left-handers on roll as numbers triple

Leftorium_400Left-handedness has reached record levels, with a more than threefold rise over the past century in the proportion of those using their left hand to write.

A large-scale historical study of handwriting down the ages by academics at University College London (UCL) has found that the proportion of left-handers has gone up from 3% among those born more than 100 years ago to 11% today.

Chris McManus, professor of psychology at UCL, said the surge in left-handedness may be due to a reduction in attempts to coerce naturally left-handed children into using their right hands.

McManus’s team have reinforced the theory that left-handedness is growing by analysing film shot about 1900 which shows that only 16% of those living at the beginning of the 20th century used their left arms to wave, compared with about 24% of people today.

Previously experts had suggested severe discrimination against “gibble-fists” in the 18th and 19th centuries might have caused their numbers to fall - before left-handed numbers picked up again as the fashion for coercing left-handers faded in the latter 20th century.

Even into the 1960s some schoolchildren’s left hands were tied behind their backs to ensure they wrote with their right.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

there still doing it, I know two lefties who told me that there teachers tried to do it to them.