Today, about one-tenth of the world’s population are southpaws. Why are such a small proportion of people left-handed — and why does the trait exist in the first place? Daniel M. Abrams investigates how the uneven ratio of lefties and righties gives insight into a balance between competitive and cooperative pressures on human evolution.








  • southpaw – a left-handed person, esp. in sports
  • trait – a characteristic, quality
  • bone density – a measure of the amount of minerals contained in a certain volume of bone
  • handedness – the consistent use of the preferred hand
  • a roll of the dice – (informal) used to say that something could have either a good or a bad result
  • the odds are – it is likely
  • to imply – to communicate an idea or feeling without saying it directly
  • minority – a smaller party or group as opposed to a majority
  • rare – not common, unusual
  • purely – completely
  • persistence – determination to do something even though it is difficult
  • skewed – not straight, distorted
  • pawedness – the condition of having either the left or the right paw dominant (of an animal)


  • Do we live in a right-handed world?
  • Do left-handers think differently?
  • Is it true that society tends to associate the left side of something with the bad (“two left feet”) and the right side with the good (“my right-hand man”)?
  • Does being left-handed help in (all) sports? How?
  • Does being left-handed make you more creative?
  • Is there a stereotype that left-handers are somehow mentally or morally inferior?
  • Does handedness matter?
  • Would you force your child to be right-handed if it was born left-handed?


Practice Makes Perfect

Fill in the gaps in the sentences below with the correct form of the words in bold below.

persistence             skewed                roll of the dice    

purely                  imply

  1. The criminal lived by his own ………… moral code.
  2. Are you ……….. that I did something wrong?
  3. It took a lot of ………….. and hard work but we`ve made it!
  4. Everything I did was ……… in the line of business.
  5. Opening a new business is always a …………. .


ANSWERS: 1. skewed; 2. implying; 3. persistence; 4.purely; 5. a roll of the dice

Answer the following questions:

Have you ever felt you`ve been in a minority?

Are you a persistent person?

Do you have any rare traits?

Why do people check their bone density?

What are the odds  of you moving to another city?



Explore it more to create your own teaching-learning experience!

6 Things Only Lefties Know. From wine bottles to subway turnstiles, the world was not designed for you.