What We Know about Handedness
A concept as basic as the hand we choose for eating, writing, making contact with our loved ones, is at the heart of extensive empirical research. Roughly nine in ten of us favor our right hands for these and other tasks, while the tenth either favors the left or, much more rarely, is ambidextrous. Handedness is defined as “the preferential use of one hand for most fine manual tasks. Right handedness is the preferential use of the right hand while left handedness is the preferential use of the left hand." It is one of those things that the right-handed among us may not think much about, unless they happen to love a lefty.
Historically, the world has not been kind to that tenth person, to the concept of “left.” For instance, some ancient and indigenous cultures view/have used the left hand for “unclean” tasks, frowning on the use of that hand for human interaction. Additionally, in the Bible, Matthew 25:31-46 chronicles what will happen on Judgment Day: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne…and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world…’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Pretty intense!
Ultimately, our understanding of the issues attendant upon handedness are still developing, and continued empirical research will deepen this understanding.