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November 17, 1989

Southpaws—Somewhat Scrawnier

Author Affiliations

University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada

University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada

JAMA. 1989;262(19):2682-2683. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430190062022

To the Editor.—  In normal populations, there is the suggestion that left-handedness may be associated with delayed physical maturation.1 For example, in a sample of 713 females, the onset of puberty was denoted by the age of menarche and relative body size, while for a sample of 467 males, the index of sexual maturity was the onset of secondary sexual characteristics (body hair) as well as relative body size. This study found that left-handedness is associated with delayed sexual maturation in both genders.The difference in the onset of the pubertal growth spurt might suggest, among other things, that left-handers may have slighter body builds as a function of the delayed maturation pattern. To test this hypothesis, I took, as a convenience sample, data from The Baseball Encyclopedia2 on all 3707 pitchers who ever played major league baseball up to 1975 to determine the relative body size of