Rummaging around some old papers stacked behind my desk, I found a 1987 Neuropsychologia piece titled “Associations of Handedness with Hair Color and Learning Disabilities” by Schachter, Ransil and Geschwind.

The researchers puzzle over the seeming connection between increased left-handedness and blond hair.  I would additionally consider left-handedness as a marker for male maturational delay and possible increases in autism and Asperger’s.

What has me muddling over the various connections at this moment is the profound difference between rates of left-handedness in countries where blond hair is common, like Scandinavia, vs. Asia, where left-handedness is about 2%.  This would suggest that autism rates in Asia would be lower.  Of course, percentage totals are profoundly complicated by differing diagnostic protocols and social support systems.  There does not even seem to be consensus that Asian rates of handedness are really lower than in the West, with many academics suggesting that prejudice is so strong against sinistralality in the East that the low numbers reflect only that strong bias.

So, it’s not the case that we’re exploring patterns with clear conventions regarding even basic agreements on the percentages of autism and handedness.

Nevertheless, the following is what is bothering me right now.  As discussed in earlier pieces, there are two neoteny paradigms in modern human society.  Scandinavians exhibit the blond hair and blue eyes with lanky builds that we might hypothesize have higher rates of left-handedness and autism, with mothers exhibiting higher testosterone, while Asians exhibit dark hair, dark eyes and short statures that we would suggest is associated with low rates of left-handedness and low rates of autism.  The cluster of neotenous features that Asians exhibit is a different variety of features than Scandinavians exhibit, characteristics that include the more fragile childlike features, flatter faces, epicanthic folds and relatively large head-to-body proportion.

In earlier pieces, I’ve concluded that specific hormone distributions, guided by social structure proclivities, inform differing physiological trait manifestations.  I’m still trying to wrap my head around the two different neoteny prototypes and what specifically might cause those specific differences.  Why dark hair and eyes in Asians?

Staff is starting to show up, it being past 9:00 a.m.  Got to start my day.


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