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Val123's avatar

If a person is naturally left handed, but is forced to "change" when they're small, can it affect their intellectual and mental development?

Asked by Val123 (12709points) June 13th, 2010

There was a time when being left handed was a big no no for some stupid reason. My folks had some friends and it’s said that their youngest son was born left handed, and they forced him to use his right, like to write with. They say he had problems learning in school for the first three years. Then they switched him back and the learning problems disappeared.

Mom says I was born left handed, and Dad made go right handed. I kinda think that’s possible, as I do a lot of things kind of bass ackwards! For one thing, I’m left eye dominate too, which the doctor said is unusual. When I’m sighting down a gun I end up in this kind of contorted position in trying to sight with my left eye and shoot with my right. When I first started playing basketball, when I was making free throws, I automatically put my left foot forward, which, of course, threw me off balance when I actually shot, with my right hand.

I just wonder if that kind of thing can really affect a person in a negative way.

Also…I wonder why back in the day people had such an issue with their kids being left handed….

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16 Answers

prescottman2008's avatar

I hope it hasn’t caused any long term problems. My First Grade teacher tried to force me to use my right hand. My parents discovered this when I came home with papers with almost all the hand-writing done backwards. She was a very old woman, near retirement, she had taught both of my parents when they had been in school. They were able to get her to stop trying to change me and other than one or two stressful years along the way I did well in school. On a side note, I heard once from somewhere that people that are left-handed are a surviving twin. The other twin died early in the pregnancy and was absorbed by the mother’s system. I have absolutely no source for this and have never done any research on it but it is interesting to think about.

Val123's avatar

VERY interesting….

Rarebear's avatar

I don’t think so, but I’m not expert on child development.

Val123's avatar

Well, you know the differences in the two sides of the brain. I think those are reversed in left handed people too. I just wonder if using your right hand causes the “wrong” side of the brain to be accessed.

ratboy's avatar

Each such person inevitably becomes a serial killer.

partyparty's avatar

I am left handed and when at school I had to write (with my left hand) but with the writing sloping upwards to the right. This was extremely difficult for me, and I had to consciously work hard at achieving this. My writing became very slow and laboured.
My natural way of writing would be with a left handed slope, which is how I write to this day.
I still remember this even now.

RocketGuy's avatar

I think my brother was supposed to be left handed, but my mom forced him to be right handed. He went on to graduate with dual degrees from MIT. I think he is smarter than me.

One thing I notice is that his normal handwriting (with his right hand) looks like my handwriting when I use my right hand (I’m left handed).

Val123's avatar

@RocketGuy Hi @RocketGuy!!!! Yes, I don’t think it’s affected my intelligence either.

RocketGuy's avatar

You were born lefty, but forced to be right handed? I was too stubborn to get converted.

Rarebear's avatar

@RocketGuy Your brother may be smarter than you but you’re better looking.

RocketGuy's avatar

”... and remember, my dahlings, it’s better to look good than to feel good.” Billy Crystal on SNL

Rarebear's avatar

@Val123 who wrote: “I don’t think it’s affected my intelligence either.”
Let’s not get carried away here.

Val123's avatar

lko ropw[ gity.

lillycoyote's avatar

I wanted to ask a question about left-handedness, actually did, but I searched and found your two week old question. My dad was left-handed and grew up in a very small town in West Virginia where they made him learn to write with his right hand. I don’t remember though, him mentioning that there was any pressure on him to try to become “fully” right-handed. He continued to write with his right hand but did everything else as a left-handed person would: when we played catch he pitched and caught left handed, had to be situated in a particular seat near the edge at a crowded table when out to dinner, loved the left-handed scissors my mom got him and when I bought him a serrated sandwich spreader for when he made his grilled cheese sandwiches; he liked to peel the butter off a stick and spread it on the bread, he took a quick glance at it and said “I can’t use this. This is for right-handed people. See, the bevels on the serrations are on the wrong side.” Who knew? It hadn’t even crossed my mind. It must be difficult, sometime, maybe all the time, to be left-handed in a right-handed world. I grab his left-handed scissors by mistake sometimes and they were really uncomfortable and difficult for me to use.

partyparty's avatar

@lillycoyote Yes it is quite often difficult for us left-handed people living in a right-handed world.
I purchased a cake slice, and when I used it I realised the serrated edge was on the wrong side for me. Little things like that make my world so difficult.

Val123's avatar

Bummer guys..but, it seems like you could adapt? I mean, yes, it would be hard at first, but you could get used to it? Like typing? I type just as fast with my left hand as I do my right. If you could learn to use both hands, then you could walk around telling everyone you’re am-bi! LOL!

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