11 Little-Known Facts About Left-Handers

10/29/2012 08:15 am ET | Updated Aug 13, 2015

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By Katie Kens

There’s no denying it. Left-handers are the odd men out.

Sure, lefties make up about 10 percent of the population -- but, frankly, it seems like society has forgotten about them. Right-handed gadgets, awkwardly designed desks, cooking tools that fit comfortably in your right hand (now that’s just wrong!).

What causes someone to become a southpaw? Scientists aren’t exactly sure, but research points to a complex collaboration between genes and environment. While no exact set of “leftie genes” have been discovered, people who dominantly use their left hands do have more left-handed family members. And researchers have found different brain wirings in righties vs. lefties.

But no matter what it is that drives someone to use their antipodal paw, science has also uncovered a particular set of personality traits that left-handed people tend to have. So for all of you lefties, leftie-loving righties and ambidextrous folks out there -- it’s time to brush up on your left-handed knowledge and help put an end to leftie discrimination once and for all.

11 Facts About Left-Handers

Left-handers are the minority -- so does that mean they’ll go extinct one day? Nah! In fact, some researchers believe that when it comes to survival of the fittest, lefties come out on top.

Here’s why: In man-on-man combat, using the left-hand is like throwing a curveball. "The fact that left-handers are less common means they have a surprise effect," University of Montpellier researcher Charlotte Faurie told ABC News. To dig deeper, Faurie and her colleague Michel Raymond studied nine different primitive societies. In more violent societies, they found that lefties thrived (think southpaw slugger Rocky Balboa’s left hook).

Looks like the left hand has the upper hand after all.

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