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A unified, quantitative model for sex, twin, parent, and grandparent influences on handedness is presented. Recent research modeling the evolutionary development of genetic mechanisms for the transmission of handedness on the basis of genotype fitness has appeared to lead to the conclusion that a handedness gene cannot be located on the sex chromosomes. It is shown in this article, however, that this conclusion is not of general validity. The sex-chromosomes hypothesis is developed further, and it is demonstrated that a wide-ranging, detailed, and parsimonious account of the distribution of handedness is obtained when left-handedness is assumed to be associated recessively, and with low penetrance, with genetic variation located on the X chromosome.


Journal article


Psychol Rev

Publication Date





213 - 218


Female, Functional Laterality, Humans, Male, Models, Genetic, Sex Chromosomes