Lucky Lefty It's Good to be Left-Handed!

Do Lefties Have Shorter Lives than Righties?

Old left-handed woman playing guitar

In short, no. This misunderstanding has spread because of a study published in 1991 which incorrectly claimed that the average left-hander's lifespan was up to 9 years shorter than the right-hander's lifespan. This claim was based on statistics which idicated that older age groups had a smaller proportion of lefties than younger age groups. Although these statistics were accurate, the author of the 1991 study incorrectly attributed them to a hypothesis that left-handed people are more likely to suffer from fatal accidents because they are clumsy and accident-prone in our right-hand-biased world. This idea has been refuted by several subsequent studies.1

The correct explaination for the higher occurance of left-handedness in young demographics is a result of the decreasing prejudice against left-handedness. Left-handed children in the late 20th and early 21st century face less pressure to unnaturally "switch" to right-handedness than their predecessors, so there appears to be a larger proportion of them.