Advantages & disadvantages of left-handed people

Updated April 17, 2017

Though left-handed people make up a smaller portion of the population, they are not short of advantages or disadvantages. According to ABC News, some of those disadvantages can be health related, but advantages can outweigh some of those disadvantages.

Advantage: Sports

Most people involved in sports are right-handed. By being left-handed, players can pose an advantage because their competitors aren't as used to playing left-handed players. In baseball, for example, a left-handed pitcher is already facing first base. That means he can keep an eye on the batter as well as the runner. This often makes it harder for a runner to steal.

Advantage: Higher IQ

A 2000 study by Dr. Alan Searleman of St. Lawrence University in New York found that more left-handed people had an IQ averaging over 140 than right-handed people. Some famous left-handers known for their intellect were Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin.

Disadvantage: Writing

In English writing and several other languages, writing is done from left to right. Though this is a common practice, it benefits right-handed people, whose hand doesn't run across what they write because their hand moves in front of the text. A left-handed person may smudge what he writes because his hand trails behind the text he writes.

Disadvantage: Power Tools and Machinery

Power tools and machinery are built for right-handed people, not left-handed ones. Equipment such as power saws, drills and scissors are naturally made for right-handers. It's important to read the user's guide on how to operate a piece of machinery if you are not right-handed, or buy items that are made for left-handed users.

Disadvantages: Playing Cards

In poker games and other card games that involve several cards in a player's hand at once, the way a left-handed person fans her cards to see them hides the numbers and suits. This means left-handed players have to read their numbers and suits upside down or flip their playing cards.

Disadvantages: School Desks

School desks that have the desk attached to the chair are made for right-handed people. That means the desk runs along the right side of the person sitting in it so that he can use his right hand to write notes or do work. Left-handed people have to work with no desk support on their left arm.

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About the Author

Shailynn Krow began writing professionally in 2002. She has contributed articles on food, weddings, travel, human resources/management and parenting to numerous online and offline publications. Krow holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an Associate of Science in pastry arts from the International Culinary Institute of America.