Feeds

Southpaws thrash righties: study

Sinister findings

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Researchers have suggested that left-handed people are better at surviving fights to the death.

Charlotte Faurie and Michel Raymond of the University of Montpellier in France found that the greater the homicide rate in unindustrialised cultures, the higher the proportion of left handed people. Industrialised cultures were excluded from the survey due to a lack of data and, according to the researchers, because some weapons, such as guns, used in such societies would provide no advantage for either left or right handed people.

Among the Dioula of Burkina Faso, the homicide rate is 0.013 per 1,000 and 3.4 per cent of the population is left-handed. However, among the Eipo of Indonesia, there are three murders for every 1,000 people and 27 per cent are left handed. Faurie and Raymond suggested that the cause for this is that left-handers are more likely to survive hand-to-hand combat.

Left handed competitors tend to do better than right handed ones in sports such as tennis. It is thought that this is because right-handed people are not used to facing lefties because there are fewer of them, while left-handed people play against righties most of the time. "Because of the advantage in sports we thought there could be a similar advantage in fights," Faurie told New Scientist.

In many cultures, winning a lot of fights will enhance your status and, the theory is, in prehistory this may have increased your reproductive success, thereby explaining the greater number of left-handed people in more violent societies.

However, some scientists are unconvinced that there is a link. Chris McManus at University College London, who has researched handedness, said, "I don't think it is anything as simple as this."

He says that the sample data used is too limited to provide evidence of a link between handedness and fighting ability, and that data from industrialised cultures should have been included.

He believes that left handed people may have an advantage due to their brains being structured differently. "It may be that sometimes their brains assemble themselves in combinations that work better for certain tasks," he says.

Left handed people are more likely to have certain health problems, including immune disorders, and thus logically the trait should have been removed by natural selection. The fact that there are still lefties in the population either suggests that being left-handed provides some survival advantage, or is a product of left-handedness not being governed by simple inheritance principles. For instance, there is only a 76 per cent chance that indentical twins, who have identical genes, will both use the same writing hand.

It is not known at this time whether being ambidexterous offers a significant advantage in combat. ®

Related stories

Families fight over PCs shock
Stressed-out Spaniards attack computers with hammers
Today is Left-handers' Day

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?