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HomeLimb/Eye Dominance

Secondary Characteristics of Eye Dominance

by Paul H. Vallandigham

Primary Indicators for Eye Dominance in all mammals are those which are done automatically - by the autonomous nervous system. These include stride length and step interval variations from left and right feet, and pitch angles for the two feet as a person walks. This differential way of walking causes there to be changes in the sizes and strength of leg muscles, such as those in the calf, and the thigh. Because the dominant side hand does fine motor coordination skills, the muscles on the bottom of the forearm are larger than those on the forearm of the non-dominant hand. These are characteristics that outside the control, largely of the conscious mind. If you badly injure the dominant hand, and it is in a cast for month, you may develop a certain facility to do fine motor skills with your non-dominant hand, and those muscles in the forearm of that hand will enlarge. But, as soon as the casts come off, and you can return to using your dominant hand for fine motor skills, you will switch back, and within a short time, the muscles of the dominant forearm will again be larger than those of the non-dominant hand.

Secondary indicators for Eye Dominance are things that are true in general, but which can be changed by the conscious mind. Think of these easily and not so easily observed characteristics about people.

1. Most people part their hair on the dominant side. To part the hair, one looks in a mirror, and then lifts a comb or brush over the head, and brings it down to the scalp at the point where you want the part. This involves aiming, and actually aiming in reverse. You also then have to comb the hair in two directions to create the part. This involves fine motor coordination skills, and most people feel competent to do this only with their dominant hand. Women are more likely than men to change their part, based on fashion demand, or what they perceive is " there best side". But, we see more men doing the same thing these days.

2. If a man is wearing a hat, he will pull the brim down so that it shades his dominant eye. If a sudden burst of light closes the pupil of his non-dominant eye, so that he cannot see an attack, he can still use his dominant eye to protect himself. The attack does not have to be a human assault. It can be tree branch, or an overhanging sign, or awning. By protecting the dominant eye from being put out of action by bright light, the brain protects itself from injuries to both the eyes and the head.

3. Most people wear a wrist watch on their non-dominant wrist. Now that we have digital wrist watches, many left handed people are wearing them on their right wrists, and simply have the jeweler turn the dial 180 degrees to accommodate them. This could not be done when we had dial clock faces with stem winders.

4. Most men carry their keys in their dominant hand pockets. Left handed people have to transfer the keys to their right hands to work locks, and ignitions in cars, because locks and doors are generally set up to work for right handed people.

5. Most men carry a pocket knife in their non-dominant front pockets, if they have a knife at all. ( Sadly, I see fewer and fewer men, particularly professional men, with pocket knives. I don't know how they function day to day without one. ) If they are using a large folding knife in a case, it tends to be carried on the Dominant side on the belt, and if it is a large knife with a clip, if is often carried in the dominant side front pocket, so it can be grabbed and drawn quickly in defense, just as one would carry a handgun for that purpose. The large clip -type knives are usually made with some kind of device to allow the opening of the blade with one hand.

6. Most right handed men will carry their wallets in their left rear pocket of their pants. Left handed men carry them in their right rear pocket. This allow the non-dominant hand to do the gross motor coordination skills of pulling the wallet out of the pocket, leaving the dominant hand to do the fine motor coordination skills of picking a paper bill out of the wallet. I have seen men break this rule of thumb, mostly because they feel more secure keeping their wallet in their dominant side front pocket.

7. If you really have good eye, or the opportunity, right handed men tie their shoe laces and make a knot differently than do left handed men and women. You rarely are going to deal with women in a violent confrontation, although that seems to be changing for the worse each year these days, and even more rarely will women be wearing shoes with laces, unless it is an athletic or running shoe.

Women rarely carry anything in their hip pockets, preferring to carry a driver's license, or some other ID in their front, dominant side pocket. In the rare case where a woman does carry ID in a back pocket, it will always be found on the dominant side of the body. Because women have extra padding on their backsides, but still like to wear tight fitting jeans and pants, there is rarely any room to carry something like a man's wallet back there.
This is why they so often carry a purse to carry all their id, wallets, keys, and other necessities. Women are more likely to wear wrist watches, and expose their wrists to view than men, so you can get your cues about eye dominance from looking at her wrists.

About the Blind: If a person was blind at birth, they tend to walk with even pitch angles, with their heads tilted forward, listening to their cane tap the ground in front of them. the step intervals tend to be the same, as do the stride lengths. If a person suffers blindness later in life, they will have developed the habit of walking with a differentiation between dominant side and non-dominant side, just as sighted people do. However, if they are using a cane, instead of having the assistance of another person, or even a guide dog, they will not be holding the head erect, and looking forward so that the brain can pretend he still has sight, and differentiate step intervals, stride lengths, and pitch angles. If he has to stoop over to hold onto the bar on the guide dog's back, it will affect his walk, and destroy the clues to eye dominance usually found in his footprints. And, depending on how his companion guides him, he may also change his gait patterns so that you can not use footprint evidence to determine eye dominance. Obviously then, tracking blind people will create a problem for identifying them based on various footprint characteristics, such as pitch angles. But, THEY ARE BLIND ! They are using a cane, ( leaving marks) , or a guide dog( leaving dog tracks right next to their own) or the tracks of a human companion walking very close to them! You don't need to have eye dominance evidence to identify the tracks of a blind person!

Obviously, knowing how to recognize secondary, as well as primary dominance characteristics of people can be very useful for certain job, such as the police. Knowing at a glance which is the dominant hand will tell an officer which hand he wants to watch and where he wants to look during a search or pat down for any weapons, whether they be knives, guns, or other weapons. But even bare handed combat can cause an injury to officers, and even death. Knowing which is the dominant hand of a suspect at a glance can prepare the officer to defend himself in the event of an attack by the suspect, by allowing him to either place himself in a position where the suspect will be least effective trying to deliver a blow, or in a position where he can immediately block the blow, and control the suspect if he should attack. If you know from footprints that you are looking for a right eye dominant man, approximately 5' 11 " tall, weighing 180 lbs. wearing cowboy boots, and you meet such a sized man who has some connection with the events, and you can tell at a glance that he is right handed, and he is wearing cowboy boots, an officer is going to treat him with immediate suspicion and spend more time finding out if this is the man responsible for the crime. He is going to frisk him for weapons, verify his identification, and check out any alibi he might give, before allowing him to leave. Knowing how to read secondary dominance characteristics just may solve a case, or save an officer's life.