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February 1979

Birth Risk and Left-Handedness Reconsidered

Author Affiliations

Dept of Psychol San Jose State Univ San Jose, CA 95192

Arch Neurol. 1979;36(2):119-120. doi:10.1001/archneur.1979.00500380089021

To the Editor.—  In a note in the Archives (33:664, 1976), Leviton and Kilty presented data that they claim supported Bakan's1.2 hypothesis that left-handedness results from left-hemispheric brain injury associated with perinatal factors. In this letter, we shall discuss critically this issue and Leviton and Kilty's contribution to it and present data that have a direct bearing on the validity of Bakan's hypothesis.In his original study, Bakan1 found for male university students, that left-handedness is more likely to occur in the progeny of high-risk birth orders, ie, first and fourth (plus) born. In delineating the rationale for their research, Leviton and Kilty have, correctly, called attention to the fact that the studies3.4 that have failed to replicate Bakan1 were inadequately conceived because they both failed to consider sex as a separate variable. In their study, Leviton and Kilty measured the relationship between the birth order