If you’re left-handed, there’s good news. No, sorry, most utensils and tools are still next to impossible to use. But at least your handedness no longer carries a humiliating social stigma.
Lefties used to be feared creatures, as society deemed them criminals and devil-worshipers. Left-handed children were even forced to write with their right hand, no matter how difficult that could be.
(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 lefties)
But times have changed. No longer shamed or openly mocked, the left-handed are allowed to coexist with us peacefully. Southpaws can even become President — four of America’s last seven presidents were left-handed. They can also become writers of scary children’s literature.
However, doctors continue to puzzle over handedness. For instance, researchers don’t know why the prevalence of lefties has remained consistently at 10% over time. Or exactly how being left-handed, which relates to brain symmetry, translates into other functions of the brain. Reports the NYT:
“Because left-handedness has been seen as a key to the complex anatomy of the brain, researchers continue to look for — and debate — links to many other conditions, including immune disorders, learning disabilities and dyslexia, reduced life expectancy and schizophrenia. None of it turns out to be simple.”
(More on TIME.com: See an archive story on being left-handed in a right-handed world)