An Increase in Left-handers

lefthandedA superb 25-year study in the UK by Marian Annett ending in the 1990s seemed to prove that in that part of the UK, left-handedness was not increasing over time. It’s been a difficult issue to parse out, what with left-handedness being repressed before WW II. When conventional wisdom declared that forcing children to switch hands would encourage stuttering, schools withdrew from demanding all children use the right hand. A result has been that though it looks like the number of left-handers has been increasing over the decades, it is obvious that institutions stopping the repression of left-handers has skewed the numbers.

A similar effect is seen in Asia. Society has strongly encouraged that the left hand not be used. The rates of left-handedness in many parts of Asia are 2% and lower. It’s difficult to determine the true handedness percentages.

The same effect comes into play with autism. Though it seems there have been dramatic rises in autism over the last twenty years, many believe we just have more refined evaluation protocols with more attention being placed upon those individuals exhibiting unconventional behaviors.

I make several predictions regarding handedness and autism, two issues that I believe go hand in hand.

It has been noted that there have been increases in autism in Silicone Valley. I would also look for higher percentages of left-handedness among that population. This population of highly skilled, abstract thinkers engaged in innovation suggests the presence of left-spectrum, low-testosterone male, high-testosterone female prototypes of matrifocal society. This would be an enclave of the future.

Among the Somali of Minnesota, where autism is increasing, I’d also estimate increased percentages of left-handers. Where light influences a mother’s testosterone levels though pineal gland misinterpretation of the seasons (the pineal gland still thinking light is following equatorial, daily 30% fluctuations, maintaining ongoing high or low thresholds for several months instead of several hours), more left-handed children will emerge. Also, more strongly right-handed children will be produced as the center of the balanced polymorphism (the seamless gradations from strong left-handers to strong right-handers) disappears. This will result in increased prostate cancer (high-testosterone males) in this population after the children become adults. Many additional maladies characterized by hormonal markers will also be higher in this population.

I have hypothesized that in Scandinavia, the population exhibits neotenous characteristics in both sexes as a result of prolonging ontogeny to allow adults to derive vitamins from dairy in combination with lightening the skin to absorb vitamin D. When both sexes exhibit neoteny, we are hypothesizing that the males have relatively high estrogen resulting in a determined male-aesthetic focus, where they choose females with features of the very young. We see in Scandinavia, unlike in neotenous, patrifocal Asia, a powerful matrifocal tendency exhibited by a society focused on partnership societal values. I predict higher percentages of left-handers in Scandinavia.

In matrifocal West Africa, one would expect to discover higher percentages of left-handers, and this is the case. One would also predict this to be the case in Polynesia based upon egalitarian social structures. There are indigenous American populations with egalitarian societies. Is there increased left-handedness in those populations or has there been too much sharing of genetics between contiguous matrilineal and patrilineal societies?

Consider that the direction that Scandinavia has gone is a trajectory being followed by other Western industrialized societies. Let me suggest that this is happening on several levels. The 1990s Swedish intervention to temporarily nationalize banks in exchange for equity is the action that the UK engaged in 2008, followed by the other EU nations, followed by the U.S. This reversed a U. S. direction taken two weeks before. Scandinavian nations exhibit an intuition for the healing power of the commons. These intuitions emerge from the biological imperatives of neotenous neurologies. The values of egalitarian, partnership society have their roots in high-testosterone women mating with low-testosterone, high-estrogen men.

Watch for increases in left-handedness in American, white, urban populations mirroring the pathway taken by the Scandinavians. Observe high-testosterone, low-estrogen women pairing off with low-testosterone, high-estrogen men. These would be slimmer peoples, like the Scandinavians, but not necessarily blond and blue eyed. These changes take more than a single generation.

Observe Jewish and Black Americans experiencing the same effects as the Somalis in Minnesota but not so extreme, revealing increased numbers of left-handedness as these two formerly nearly equatorial populations continue to experience hormonal polarization to the extremes of society’s balanced polymorphism. Again watch for the emergence of the Scandinavian hormonal prototype with slim couples, commanding women, cooperative men. Classic matrifocal pairings will also be in evidence, high-testosterone, high-estrogen women marrying low-testosterone, low-estrogen men. These women will often be lefties, but will be large, not tall.

Studies exploring these issues have not been consistent. With left-handedness only recently being relieved of sinister implications and autism evaluation procedures still not universal across the world, we’ve a ways to go before we’re comparing apples to apples. Still, these predictions are based on evolutionary biological principles manifesting in society today.

Proceed to author’s FREE book download on this subject (The book is called Evolution, Autism and Social Change). 10 minute introductory video here.

on 12/21/09 in Evolution, featured | No Comments | Read More

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