Gender and % left handed

Over here Rusalka says:

I’ve never heard anything about left-handedness being more common in men then in women. Can anyone point me in the direct of a cite for that?

Being left-handed, I tend to notice when other people are, and that statement doesn’t jive with what I’ve seen among my friends and family.

The cite given in wikipedia for the male:female ratio is Raymond, M.; Pontier, D.; Dufour, A.; and Pape, M. (1996). |Frequency-dependent maintenance of left-handedness in humans," Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B, 263, 1627-1633

However, lefthandedness is not “especially rare” in women. It is merely less common than in men. In my department, 2 of 7 women are left-handed.

Do we have any numbers from that study? I’m curious. Interestingly enough, the left handers among my friends are all men. I cannot think of a single left-handed woman I know. Obviously, this is controverted by your post and the OP’s experience, so I’m curious what the figures are.

More on the study here.

I also found that particular statement disturbing as I had never heard it before. In thinking it over, I did come to the realisation that I am the only left-handed female I know. And I am not really left-handed thanks to a vicious, misguided Kindergarten teacher. I still bat left-handed and play difficult pool shots left-handed. A lot of things I naturally do left-handed, I don’t think abou it, but some things (like eating and writing) I was literally beaten into right-handedness.

Heh. Probably more than anyone wanted to know about me, eh? My point, I guess is that my personal experience is such that it is more rare in women than men. I can name 6 left-handed guys that I hang out with regularly, but only myself as for women. Odd.

A purely anecdotal observation: I hang out in academic and research circles and have occasion to be sitting at tables during meetings and seminars and such where the mind tends to wander. I have noticed several times that there has been a larger than average proportion of lefties at such gatherings. For example, two out of the 4 women in one of my current workgroups are lefties, me included.

My wife, also a Doper, is left-handed (as is one of her sisters, if I’m recalling correctly). I can think of at least three other female lefties I know outside of the family, so they are definitely out there. But I have no idea about percentages.

I am, of course, biased because, as a lefty myself, I generally only think of or notice others’ handedness when I encounter other lefties.

My U. has a subscription. They cite two studies; one found a rate of 10.0% for men and 8.0% for women, while the other found a rate of 13.0% for men and 10.7% for women. So there’s a noticeable, but not dramatic, difference in the rates of left-handedness between the genders.

Weasels ripped my post. I’m not going to go back to find the cite I posted half an hour ago, but it showed a 2% discrepancy between males and females.

My graduate advisor is a leftie. And she’s a woman.

I’m a woman and I showed left-handed tendencies as a toddler, but was converted in nursery school. Although I write and do most daily activities (brush teeth, eat, etc.) with my right, I’m pretty good with my left hand. It’s my stronger hand, it’s slightly bigger, and when I perform handedness tests, my score indicates that I’m left-biased.

I’m a twin, but my sister and I are probably not identical (we haven’t done the DNA test to confirm this, but it doesn’t seem likely considering the physical differences between us). Even if we are identical, we aren’t mirror image. My sis has always been a strong rightie, whereas I tend to think of myself as weakly right-handed. So I don’t think a left-handed twin indicates anything other than that one twin is left-handed.

Thanks. That certainly does not qualify as “especially rare.”

I’d love a link or two to any such test, assuming they aren’t physical tests. I eat, write and brush my teeth with my left. I’m ambidextrous with a mouse, although I have a slight preference for using my right hand. Everything else, I pretty much use my right hand for (including sports activities). But I still consider myself a lefty.

Thanks for looking that up, MikeS. That upholds my personal experience, which made the “very rare” statement questionable.