Jun 23, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Pedophiles Are More Likely to Be Left Handed, New Research Shows

Mar 27, 2015 04:21 PM EDT


The Latin word for left is sinister. You may wonder why that is, but for a long time left-handed people were somewhat of a persecuted minority. Because so few people are left-handed there were a number of superstitions around them, and they were thought to be quite sinister at one time. However, now there may be a slight grain of truth to those crazy ideas.

Now please don't go about suspecting the worst out of everyone who happens to be left-handed. Certain neural pathologies have long been associated with a decreased prominence of right handedness. A study just recently publish online is now further examining the prominence of this factor in pedophiles.

While a large number of genetic, prenatal, and environmental factors determining handedness, it is still establish rather early. Other research has shown that 97% of toddlers generally show a preference when doing certain tasks. Establishing a link between handedness and certain neurological conditions and behaviors can give researchers insight into a potential mechanism that causes it.

For example, there is increased left-handedness in people with epilepsy. Depending on the level of detail in the research or the condition being studied, they will either specify a handedness, or simply right-handed versus non-right-handed. That may seem confusing but handedness is actually much more complex than you might think.

In a fully detailed analysis, someone can be right-handed, left-handed, ambiguous handed, ambidextrous, or mixed handed. Right and left are the ones we are familiar with. Ambiguous handed and ambidextrous are very similar and definition, basically the person has no preference or is equally proficient at skills with either hand. Mixed handed may not be one you formally heard about. It means an individual has a left or right preference but it varies depending on the task.

This recent study was the first to examine handedness in a fully complex way while comparing it to certain destructive sexual preferences. What they found was indeed a increase in pure left-handedness among pedophiles. Interestingly, those with similar but less extreme age-related preferences showed an increase rate of ambiguous handedness.

Again this is only an increase of a few percentage points compared to the normal population, and should never be a warning sign of a sexual predator. However, it does suggest that certain devious behaviors are the result of stress during neurological development. More research is obviously necessary but it would appear that the factors that cause certain pathologies also cause an increase in left handedness.

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