Lefties make up a small, but mighty group. At around 10 percent of the Western population, they are clearly dwarfed in numbers alone by right-handers [source: Jarrett]. Nowadays, most of the modern world barely blinks an eye at a lefty, but that wasn't always the case. Left-handers in the Middle Ages feared being accused of witchcraft and use of the left hand was long associated with the devil and other evil-doings. In fact, the Latin word for "left" is "sinistra," from which we get the word "sinister" [source: Rothman]. England's King George VI was one of many born lefties forced to write with his right hand, a practice that is now known to be associated with stammering, a problem from which he suffered [source: Farndale].
Fortunately, lefties are no longer as persecuted, thanks to the enlightenment of the last few decades. Studies have shown that lefty status is determined in the womb, with up to 40 genes contributing to handedness, although other factors play a role, including cultural influence, prenatal environment and sheer chance [source: U.S. National Library of Medicine]. One meta-analysis showed that men were 23 percent more likely to be left-handed than women.
No one's saying that right-handed folks aren't just as capable as lefties, but there are a few activities and skills that Southpaws seem predisposed to doing better or more easily. Here are some of them.