Left-Handed? Your Mom May Have Been Depressed

Proud of being a lefty? It may be a mental defect

Good news for lefties: you’re not the work of Satan. The bad news is, you might be little off-kilter in the head.

Left-handedness was once thought to be a sign of the devil, and in fact, the word “sinister” comes from the word, “left.” But as silly as that may seem now, it turns out, we haven’t really come all that far in our opinion on lefties.

A Today show report on southpaw myths and facts revealed that some scientists consider left-handedness to be, well, an unfortunate aberration.

The theory is that left-handedness is not a genetic trait like the color of your eyes, but rather a mild birth defect caused by fetal distress. Another thing that’s all your mother’s fault. Left-handedness, they say, is caused by moms who were stressed or depressed while pregnant.

If that’s not enough to absorb, the news piece goes on to say that a variety of conditions, like dyslexia, autism, depression and schizophrenia are said to be more prevalent among left-handed people than those who favor their right.

As a left-handed person, I can tell you that I am free of at least three out of four of those conditions. As for my mother’s mental state while expecting, I gave her a call to find out just how stressed and depressed she was while carrying me.

“I can’t believe such rubbish! I was neither!”

“But, mom, they have research to back it up.”

“I don’t care what those bozos say. If there are any mental defects involved, it’s obviously from your father’s side.”

“Oh, sure, blame me,” I hear my father say in the background.

So, there you have it. Not exactly rigorous scientific evidence, but it’s enough for me. Besides, there’s plenty of other evidence to suggest we lefties aren't all messed up in the head. Five out of the last seven presidents were lefties, even though only 10 percent of us favor the left hand. And most of us southpaws are somewhat ambidextrous, given that we didn’t always have left-handed tools or teachers to guide us. For instance, I write and eat with my left hand, but play all sports right-handed. In my mind, that makes us much more talented and flexible than most righties. It probably engages more of our brain, too. So if being lefty is wrong, I don’t want to be right -- even if they do have the upper hand.

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