Creativity. Mortality. A tendency to drink. Left-handedness has been linked to a lot of random things. But now researchers have found a connection between left-handedness and a certain facial feature.
Individuals with a slender jaw and a convex facial profile are more likely to be left-handed, according to a new study published in the journal Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition.
Researchers from the University of Washington dug up a new left-handedness correlation using three national health surveys of 13,536 people in the United States. They found that people with a convex profile and a slender jaw were associated with a 25 percent increased chance of “non-right-handedness.”
Cue every lefty running to the mirror to check out their jawline.
It makes sense, since slender jaws are almost as common as left-handedness; only 10 percent of the population is left-handed, while one in five Americans has a slender jaw.
And while slim faces are highly sought after, especially in America, where the obsession with weight runs deep, don’t go trying to write with your left hand in the hopes of gaining a more svelte jawline.
The findings come with a downside as well. Having a slender jaw has also been correlated with tuberculosis (TB). “Almost 2,000 years ago a Greek physician was first to identify slender jaws as a marker for TB susceptibility, and he turned out to be right,” study author Philippe Hujoel told the University of Washington. “Twentieth-century studies confirmed his clinical observations, as slender facial features became recognized as one aspect of a slender physique of a TB-susceptible person. The low body weight of this slender physique is still today recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a marker for TB susceptibility.”
Hujoel thinks left-handedness, physique, and TB susceptibility could all be connected.
Not convinced? According to the UW article, the U.K. was described as the “tuberculosis capital of Western Europe,” and it also happens to have a high prevalence of left-handedness and people with slender faces. The opposite is true for Eskimos, who in the 19th century were described as tuberculosis-resistant and having “robust facial features.” And in art, you might notice that they are depicted using tools mostly with their right hand.
Of course, more research is needed to prove that these are all related.
But for now, we have a feeling that all those lefties without a slender face out there (me) will be sucking in their cheeks a lot more.
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