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Which hand is the better hand?

I believe left-handed men “think like women.” I’m told there’s actual research to support that contention, but I have not unearthed it yet.

My favorite illustration follows. I think a right-handed man would answer the question, “How was your day?” by saying “fine.” A left-handed man might say, “But first, tell me how was your day?” And he’d listen with interested attentiveness. You might try that small experiment. Let me know how it goes.

I posed the question to my left-handed brother, and it worked. Well, it kind of worked. His attentiveness to my health and well-being was relatively short-lived.

My long-deceased father was also left-handed. Somehow, I think if he had been asked, “How was your day?” he would have provided a detailed explanation that included exactly what he had for breakfast and lunch as well as a long litany of baseball statistics.

I am not left-handed, and neither is my husband. Despite my family’s history, my interest in handedness escapes him. He would definitely say “fine” when asked about his day, unless it had not been “fine.” He might ask me about my well-being before he told me about the details of a not-so-fine day, however. He definitely gets points for that.

This topic probably interests me because my daughter is left-handed. As is her son. She believes left-handedness in either gender denotes creativity and intelligence — and an ability to multitask. She reminds me that Oprah Winfrey is left-handed. So was Marilyn Monroe.

Barack Obama is left-handed, as was George H.W. Bush. The list of presidential left-handers is long. The current president is a right-hander. Albert Einstein, Walt Disney and Leonardo da Vinci were all left-handed. Bill Gates (the word’s second-richest man) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook guru) are left-handed. Fascinating, don’t you think?

There are almost twice as many male left-handers as female. Male left-handers (based on a Johns Hopkins University study) who attended college are 15% richer throughout their lifetime — they’re 26% richer if they graduated from college. They’re notably better at many types of sports and more likely to be artists. A St. Lawrence University study found that more left-handed people had IQs over 140 than their right-handed counterparts.

A British study found that 11% of men and women ages 15-24 are left-handed, but only 3% in the age 55-64 category. Only 1% of people older than 80 use their left hand predominantly. Maybe that reflects the “hand-prejudice” that existed in earlier decades — when lefties were retrained and/or forced to convert to more “typical” handedness.

Back to the issue of “how left-handed men think.” As you have, by now, observed, I cannot get this subject out of my mind. The scant research I can locate indicates all lefties use both sides of their brains more easily and efficiently, thereby doing quicker information processing. Women always do quicker information processing than their male counterparts. There’s a lot of research to support that fact. Now that you know all that, how was your day?

Sharon Johnson is a retired educator and executive director of Rebuilding Together Rogue Valley. Reach her at sharon@rbtrv.org.