Put Your Hand Up For PSU Football

This weekend was the most amazing football game that I have ever been to! So do I kind of hate the idea of throwing science into it? Yes, but I seem to be now constantly looking at things and thinking, "wow that would be an interesting blog post!".

So there I was at the game, watching Penn State win, jumping up and down in the stands, and what did I think? Wow that's weird that the kid in front of me is cheering with his left hand..I wonder why. Light bulb...new blog post!

I discussed with my roommate later on (clearly we are both really weird since that this is what we do in our free time) during our long walk back home from the stadium why it is that some people cheer with their left hand and some with their right. She seemed to be pretty confident that it was because of genetics. She said that is what her parents always told her since she is ambidextrous in sports like soccer. I said I get that but being ambidextrous in something like soccer seems like a mute point, can't we as humans learn to kick with both feet? Where as I am right handed but in gymnastics I tumble on my left side but in competition I had to do it with my right side and I did. We both then discovered we are both right handed while both our moms are right handed and both our dads are left handed and we are both lefties when it comes to sports. So does that prove the point or is that by chance?

I started by looking into why people are left handed:

In my last blog I used a kids health site to help answer one of my impending questions and found it very comprehensible and so did the people who commented. So I took the good feed back and used the site again to answer this question and summarize it here. 

People think of lefties being a rarity since 90% of the population is right handed but what I never thought of was, "Billions of people live on the globe. So there are hundreds of millions of lefties out there!" 

Sadly, but goes with the teaching of SC 200 that sometimes we just can't get answers to everything, scientists do not know for sure yet why people are left handed. "they have noticed that being left-handed runs in families. So they're pretty sure your genes (DNA) influence whether or not you turn out a lefty." 

Because of this I cannot say if my roommate was correct on her answer just that she has not been proved wrong. There was something written that was interesting and backed up my point though, "Getting hurt can also make a person a lefty. Sometimes righties badly injure their right hand and can't use it anymore. Those kids and adults usually learn to use their left hand and become lefties. Lefties also can become right-handed if they hurt their left hand. So it works both ways." This showed what I was saying that perhaps it is just easy to learn to use the other side of your body.

This brought up another idea in my head.. can you force yourself to be left/right handed if you were not born that way? Because if this is possible then what if we chose subconsciously what side we wanted to favor?

I found this article written by someone who found out when they were older that they were born left handed but his parents made the decision to raise him right handed. The findings were very interesting and bring up many more points that I have decided to extend into a second posting! But basically to answer this in support of this post his mother found through infancy that he was a lefty by him exerting more pressure on her hand with his left hand, showing that that was his dominant hand. His mother felt that being right handed was more natural and beneficial so she trained him to use his right hand. But since he was truly left handed he obtained weird habits of picking things up with his left hand and handing them to his right. I believe this shows that even though he was blind to the fact that he was truly left handed he naturally still yearned to use it. Giving me the conclusion that we do not choose which hand we use.


Look out for my continuation post for more on the differences between lefties and righties! 

Image Found: http://ladonasmusicstudio.com/2012/05/23/no-advantage-for-lefties/



I want to first start off by commending you for a very creative title to the blog. After reading your blog I decided to do some extra research on what causes someone to become right vs. left handed. I came across http://www.indiana.edu/~primate/brain.html that article, which explains that it "could" be due to the brain. Paul Broca, the guy who found and named the "broca" part of the brain hinted at the fact that handedness could be due to which side of your brain your language specialization is in. So for people who are right handed, the language specialization is on your left side. I am curious if there is any type of actually scientific experiment out there which explains if his theory is true.


Thanks for raising awareness for left-handed people. As one of left-handed people, I've always wondered why I was/am left-handed, too. and I've always hated the fact that everything in this society is only for right-handed people. Like this society doesn't really have that many left-handed ones. But there are a lot of lefties! We are who we are and are just a little different.

Wow you really seem to have an active mind when it comes to curiosity, and I applaud you for that. However, you never fully answered as to why people cheer with certain hands? So I did some thinking because I found it to be a very interesting topic you brought up! From the information you gathered, it seems that people have adapted certain skills through the use of certain hands. So most of the time when people state whether they are a "leftie" or a "rightie", they are referring to what hand they write with.The way I think of it, with cheering, people are using their dominant writing hand because most of the time PSU students have pom poms in hand. Since they hold their pencil in either their left or right, they will hold the pom pom accordingly. That is my proposal, I could be wrong! But here's an article I think you'd like that goes more in depth with right/left hand dominance.


Ahh Danielle you are actually so right!! The topic got too big so that is why I decided to wait and post another blog about the rest of my findings, but I totally never did answer that question completely. What I was trying to get at with the final article I had posted: http://wasioabbasi.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/never-force-left-handed-child-to-be-right-handed/ was that no matter what we use our dominant hand, because somehow even if trained the other way that's what our brain wants us to do. So basically what you were saying but perhaps a little more complex than that. So the man in the article was naturally a lefty but trained to be a righty one would think after all that time he would pick up things automatically with his right hand. But he did not; he picked things up with his left hand and passed them to his right. Also he found out that he has left vision, which has to do with being left handed. So I guess I went on a tangent again.. but my point was through all that is that I could not get to why one holds their pom pom with a certain hand yet because I think being a lefty seems more than just what we are trained to do. It relates back to our brain psychologically!! Interesting and I am not even a lefty hah

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