Curiosity makes me ask how many Wikitree members are left handed.

+8 votes
I do know that I don't often participate on G2G, however, curiosity forces me to ask this question. (Please don't ask me why. I'm still working that out.:))

How many members of Wikitree are left handed, as I am ? I am basically curious to know the numbers of left handed people on Wikitree.

Curiosity merits asking, does the percentage of members who are researching their Genealogy match the numbers of the world's population who are perceived to be left handed or does it differ significantly? The number of "lefties" has been placed at ten percent by scientists, according to google searches. While being placed as part of a minority can be this percentage placed at ten percent because many children at primary school were made to use their '''right''' hand, punished when they didn't, and so, have not been counted during this research, or is this the honest percentage??

And does being left handed merit a Category?
in The Tree House by David Urquhart G2G6 Pilot (152k points)
edited by David Urquhart
My mother was a lefty and went through the H*ll that was common back then (b. 1911) about being left-handed. Have a spouse who's left-handed. She was forced to use her right hand in schools and ended up with handwriting (script) that looked like a drunken chicken ran through an ink puddle and then onto a piece of paper.

I learned to "read" it when I was given the task of typing up papers and notes and whatnot when she went college in her 50s.

My poor Mama, she always soldiered on no matter what tried to interfere.
Thank you for your reply Susan,

Even though I was born in the 1950's, and I didn't suffer being bashed over the knuckles, etc...I do feel for your mother. The confusion over wanting to do what my hands wanted to do and what my sisters were doing at table was  difficult to understand at first. Happily, I was good at being a copycat.
mostly right handed but I use the computer as a lefty, I use a mouse that can switch from left to right handed at a flick of a button. Useful for the rest of the household who are all right handed.
The sinister side of WikiTree...

Interesting question.Thanks for asking it David.I was born in1960.I not did suffer the "hell" that was common in prior history.Although there were some halfhearted attempts by teachers and family to "correct" me.I guess I am another odd ball. I eat,drink and write with my left.I play base ball,basket ball and other sports as a "righty" I shoot a rifle as a "lefty". If I am lying down the mouse ( wireless ) is in my right hand I use my index finger for the left click my middle finger for the right click and my thumb for forward/back buttons on the left side of the mouse.If I am sitting in my arm chair the mouse is in my left hand (unless I am drinking my coffee) I use my index finger for both the left and the right click and I use my middle finger for forward/back buttons on the left side of the mouse.As I had not even thought of a "switchable" mouse ( DUH ) I will be heading to the electronics store soon.Thank you Anonymous-1389

9 Answers

+8 votes
My mother was belted for using her left hand! Her mother hit me a few times, until my dad intervened.

I am left handed along with my son who is also a member. Lefties rule in our family!
by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Thanks Marion, I have always heard about being belted or whacked across the hand by the teacher, from friends while socialising as an adult. It actually never happened at my primary school with a total of about 15 - 20 students, which was in the middle of a farming community. I am thankful for that.
I had a domestic science teacher that used to pull apart any sewing or knitting I did and tell me to do it properly . Took me ages to work out why - dad to the rescue again. When I started high school the medical form had left handed in the ‘any other disabilities ‘ section. Dad struck it out in thick red pen.

A lot of your comments ring true and bring back more memories of what friends told me about what used to happen. It's so sad and caused so much psychological damage to their lives.
Thanks for the star Rhonda
+5 votes
I don't know if there actually is a way to determine how many people are left-handed. I don't even know if there are places that are still punishing and trying to change lefties today. I know my grandfather was left-handed, punished and forced to use his right hand. This left him with a stutter and caused him to be left-back in kindergarten. He did outgrow the stutter. When my mother turned out to be left-handed, he went up to the school and insisted that they leave her alone and let her be left-handed. She really loved learning how to write on those half-desks they used to use. She wrote with her arm hanging off the desk. Neither or them used that weird over-arm way of writing, they both had very neat, though small, handwriting. My daughter is left-handed and no one even suggested that it was an issue. None of them are Wikitreers or have any interest in genealogy. My daughter is the only grandchild of my mothers who is left-handed.

I am ambidextrous. I can use either hand, but I don't know how much is nature vs. nurture, since I had the left-handed mother. I usually write with my right hand, but I can write pretty well with my left. I can also write backwards, upside-down, any direction really. Funny story. When I was in the Army, they wanted to teach us to write on one of those clear boards. We would have to write back-wards so that those on the other side could read it. I was like, "Teach? Doesn't everyone know how to do that already?"
by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (532k points)

Lol, but glad you saw it as natural. smiley

I suspect that I'm one of the changed lefties.  I'm not ambidextrous and do most things right handed, but there are some things I do better with my left hand.  When I was a kid playing baseball, I was a switch hitter but the coach didn't choose which way I batted based on the opposing pitcher - instead, it was based on the game situation.  I could place it better righty but could hit it farther lefty.
Marion, Being left handed is definitely natural. I will defend that fact. :) I also have other left handed family members.
Gale, I will admit to using cutlery, partially in the perceived normal manner. Knives and Forks in the usual array. Knife in right hand and Fork in the left hand. However, I eat my desert with the spoon in my left hand and butter bread with my left also.. That is only because, the rest of my immediate family are "right" handed and I remember having a need to copy them. I can admit to an immense amount of confusion while adjusting.
+5 votes
I'm another who was told to not use my left hand back in first grade. Since I'm not strongly handed, I just used my right. I typically use the hand I was taught to use for specific tasks but can do most things with either. Some things left others right. When it comes to food, nothing gets in the way. Either hand or both. My Dad was ambidextrous.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (421k points)
+5 votes

Like others who have answered, my first grade teacher had the attitude that no student in her class would or should remain left handed.  A woman of my grandparents' generation, she became ill partway through the school year, and the substitute who replaced her held much more open-minded views on the subject.

As an elementary student, I had great difficulty learning to read, tell time, tie my shoes, and other seemingly unrelated skills.  After graduating from high school I first learned of dyslexia, and was immediately glad I had not been told about it as a child, as I probably would have used it as an excuse not to try to overcome my challenges.

Sometime in junior high school I was standing across the desk from a teacher who was distracted by something else momentarily.  I glanced down on the desk and began to read a paper that caught my eye.  A moment later the teacher returned to me and chastised me for reading that paper - then asked incredulously how I had learned to read upside down.  My sincere reply:  "Doesn't everybody know how to do that?"  So I guess the dyslexia and left-handedness helped build other abilities . . .

As far as how many of us here might be left-handed, that's hard to say.

by Bill Hull G2G6 (9.7k points)
+5 votes
I'm another "leftie" who was coerced to change. It was my kindergarten teacher who encouraged my mother to help her change me. Maybe I was just stubborn, but they never accomplished their goal. As I grew up there were things, though, that I did do right-handed -- not because I'm ambidextrous, but because it was just easier than fighting the mainstream.  One of those things was using scissors, golf, knitting, and probably others. I did learn to crochet left-handed. Of course there were issues along the way -- the desks in high school, spiral notebooks, and the shorthand notebooks. I wanted so much to have beautiful right-handed handwriting that I adapted by writing backhand, hence the problem with the shorthand notebooks -- I just turned them upside down and it worked. I also can read upside down, but I never considered it might be because of being left-handed. I do have one issue I've never overcome -- when giving directions I often point left and say right, or vice-versa.
by Robin Shaules G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
Agree with the directions problem, but then our teacher drummed it into us ‘right is the hand you write with ‘. To this day I have to stop and think.
+4 votes
I am right handed, but my husband is a lefty, he is not on Wikitree but he sure encourages me with research; So I call him a pseudo Wikitreer.  He also had issues with his grade one teacher who tried to change him.  But the School Principal intervened in that one.

Also, I can right with either left or right hand, and mirror image.  I used to write something then put it up in the mirror to see how it looked.  I can also write upside down.

Do these statistics count for anything?
by Nicole Boorse G2G6 Pilot (849k points)
+1 vote
My wife is a lefty. She is the most uncoordinated person I have ever known. But her dad was left-handed and he was an amazing athlete. So there you go. ;)
by Bart Triesch G2G6 Pilot (252k points)
+2 votes
Count me in as a leftie. My father also probably was although he was forced to write with his right hand.

About the only thing I'm consistently using my right hand for is the computer mouse, which I just prefer to keep on the right side of the keyboard. I think it's because I started using computers before they had a mouse attached, and I've always preferred using keyboard shortcuts.

I have grave doubts about whether it's possible to get a statistically significant answer to your question, though. In addition to methodological problems, there's also the fact that lefthandedness doesn't have one particular cause, but several.
by Leif Biberg Kristensen G2G6 Pilot (109k points)
0 votes
Sure.Why not not? Sometimes it seems like there is a "category" for everything and everyone....Or do we really need to " label " every thing and every one?
by James Collins G2G6 Mach 5 (55.0k points)

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