Left-handedness seems to have avoided the fate of similarly rare genetic traits—that is, extinction—because it’s so useful, a study finds. For instance, left-handers in earlier times had the advantage of surprise in fights with right-handers, AFP reports; they often used both hands well, while righties were overly dependent on the favored hand.
The French study highlighted a variety of pros and cons for lefties, including:
- A propensity to be more creative than average.
- Having a higher IQ as a child.
- Earning more money than right-handers.
- Shorter lifespans than right-handers—perhaps because left-handers are more apt to have fatal accidents with heavy machinery built for righties.
- Less reproductive success, due in part to having smaller bodies. Left-handers are also more likely to be homosexual, a group less likely to have children.