International Left-Handers Day: why some lefty athletes gain an advantage

Approximately 12% of the US population are left-handed – but standing out in a co-operative world can help some thrive

Athletes could help us understand why most people are right-handed (and that seems worth understanding today, on International Left-Handers Day).

In the United States, despite scientific agreement that it’s partly genetic, the rate of left-handedness has fluctuated over time. According to a 2009 paper titled “the history and geography of human handedness”, American left-handedness declined before 1900, then picked up again, reaching approximately 12% – possibly because left-handedness is no longer “corrected” in schoolchildren.

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