Day Ten: Sinister

(Yes, that title is unnecessarily clever and I’m showing off.  I have a post in the works to counter-act it.)

I read this article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday: The Health Risks of Being Left-Handed (in case that sounds show-off-y too, I can add that I read it sitting on the toilet and only because my husband left it laying there) and it’s sticking in my brain.  I am mixed-handed (which was a term I’d never heard before and not synonymous with ambidextrous), and Badger appears to be left-handed.  The basic jist of it is that new studies show a link between left-handedness and conditions like ADHD and schizophrenia, and even more so with mixed-handedness.

Now, the majority of my brain basically snorts at this and says “I suppose that’s kinda interesting, but whatever.”  I am 100% certain I don’t have ADHD — in fact, I may have whatever the opposite of ADHD is, where you get so focused on something that the whole rest of the world disappears and suddenly someone is shaking you and saying “Hey, Ma’am?  Your car is rolling away.”*  I think it’s called “being a spaz.”  And difficulty with language (another issue lefties apparently suffer from more than average) is neither my problem nor my Chatty Cathy daughter’s.

Another element of the story that really pushed my “pfft, whatever” button was the linking of third-trimester stress with left-handedness in children.  I hate, hate HATE media reporting on stories like this, because they always take some specialized, narrow-focus study and use it to say “pregnant women should never, ever X because (there’s the barest, not-well-studied correlation that) your baby will Y” where Y is something like have a peanut allergy or cystic fibrosis or burst into flames.  But I know I had my share of third-trimester stress (as previously mentioned in my ‘moved three times in it’) post.  Still, though.  “Avoid stress in the third trimester”?  Like pregnant ladies are all screaming at their husbands and breaking down in hysterics when the bus is late because they didn’t know stress is bad?

But I do have a mixed-handed schizophrenic grandmother.  That’s not even a joke, it’s totally true.  Well, except she’s right-handed and has a long story about how she was forced to not be left-handed as a child, nestled between her story about how her grandmother was Haitian (she wasn’t) and had 12 children (nope) all boys (nope), and two of them albinos (maybe? they were very pale, in any event), and how she once smuggled turtles from Russia to the US in the 70’s in her bra (unconfirmed).

This would also be a fun place to talk about the historic view of left-handedness and how modern science is confirming ancient prejudices against lefties, but Badger can only watch YouTube videos for so many hours a day.  This would also be a good place to wrap this all up into some kind of coherent point, but I don’t think I have one and I’m completely out of time.  So: in conclusion, I read a newspaper story and had some thoughts about it.  The End.

*Yes, this exact thing has happened to me.

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2 Responses to Day Ten: Sinister

  1. A Frog at Large says:

    Good post; I’m surprised this was in the Wall Street Journal and not the UK Daily Mail! Prejudice hidden behind science, there really is nothing worse.

    • Thank you! You know, I don’t think it’s the science that’s the problem so much as the news stories about the science. I expect that if you or I took the time to read the actually studies behind the article, it would make sense but would likely be either incredibly narrow in focus, or the effect would be so small as to be only barely significant. But of course, that’s not going to sell newspapers. Not even Wall Street Journals. 😉

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