Johanna Barbara Sattler
Humankind segregates itself into right–handers and left–handers.
In reference to the psychological and sociological consequences, which biological process caused this phenomenon is irrelevant.
The human brain is lateralized; that is both of the brain’s hemispheres fulfill partly different tasks and possess differing abilities. The dominance of one of the two hemispheres is directly connected with the body’s motor preference (a phenomenon of sidedness). This sidedness is inborn, immutable, and crossed as is shown in handedness. This sidedness is probably also the underlying reason for the functional preference of one or the other cerebral hemisphere.
Dominance of the left or right side of the brain is inherited.
The actual proportion of right-handers to left-handers within the society can only be estimated today. There is much evidence which indicates that due to a complex of inheritable factors, 50% of the population is left-handed. However, most statistics which define left-handed in terms of writing with the left hand, place the proportion of left-handers at somewhere between 7 and 15%. It may be assumed that the remaining percentage of the theoretical 50% are persons who have been converted and who therefore have been forced to suffer the negative consequences.
There is no graded continuum between left-handedness and right–handedness. A person is either one or the other; either left–handed or right–handed.
The healthy individual can not be a little bit left-handed or a touch right-handed. Just like the popular saying, there is no such thing as being “a little bit pregnant”. You either are or you’re not. A decreased degree of handedness signals a physiological, cerebral dysfunction.
Seeming ambidexterity either comes from converting the inborn handedness of a person who will thereby later develop additional cerebral disturbances; or physiological, pathological processes.
This is the case with such dysfunctions or disorders as Down’s Syndrome where the question remains open as to whether rudimentary elements of hand dominance are present but are not measurable. Through various shortages, such as oxygen deprivation during the prenatal stage, cerebral dominance can become temporarily disrupted. Earlier, the results manifested from such damage would have been taken as an indication of ambidexterity. When this happens, there is a great danger, that before the regenerative processes have a chance to begin, handedness will be incorrectly determined.
Converting a person’s handedness is equivalent to inflicting grievous harm and results in disability.
Allowing a person to convert their own handedness constitutes a failure to give assistance.
The damages and injuries that occur as a result of conversion are in part irreversible.
The treatment of the consequences of conversion and the discussion of the problems that may be encountered before, during, or after reconversion should only be undertaken under the supervision of professionally trained experts. Such intervention should also be accompanied by continual psychotherapeutic treatment or interventions as are deemed necessary. Remember: handedness is “brainedness”.
Left–handers and right–handers demonstrate different personality traits. They both have their own strengths and weaknesses.
The conversion of handedness can lead to the exaggeration of certain traits. These traits may then be projected with differing degrees of severity into the behavior or conduct of the individual. In addition, the subsequent primary and secondary disorders following the conversion of handedness also take effect.
In varying degrees, specific personality traits are directly linked with the phenomena of handedness. Indirectly, these personality features are shaped as the individual attempts to cope with such phenomena. Further, the transference of the individual personality structures into interpersonal relationships then affects the individual’s social functioning. In this way, a sociological factor of the first order comes into being.
Even today, this sociological component has not been sufficiently recognized as constituting an intervening spectrum with a broad sphere of influence. For reasons that are rarely understood, the causal relationships between the factors described above may even go so far as to determine an individual’s fate. In this sense, the sociological factor is one which can not as yet be exhaustively treated. However, it is in all probability one of the most influential factors in the socio-cultural existence of humankind.
(Sattler, Johanna Barbara, The Converted Left-Hander or the “Knot” in the Brain. In German: Der umgeschulte Linkshänder oder Der Knoten im Gehirn. Auer Verlag, Donauwörth, 1995. 5. Auflage, S. 341-343).
© Copyright: Dr. Johanna Barbara Sattler, Consulting and Information Center for Left-handers and Converted Left-handers
(Erste deutsche Beratungs- und Informationsstelle für Linkshänder und umgeschulte Linkshänder), Sendlinger Str. 17, D – 80331 Munich (München), Germany / Europe, Tel./ Fax: +49 / 89 / 26 86 14
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