Wondering Why?

Why do men have an Adam’s apple?

Why do men have an Adam’s apple?

Children, when they are growing, reach their puberty stage. During this stage, both males and females undergo physical changes as well as internal biochemical changes in the body. In male children, the major physical changes that occur include breaking of the voice and the gradual appearance of the protruded voice box in front of the throat, development of a beard and mustache, and so on.

The first function of the larynx is to block the airway when we swallow food. This prevents the lungs from ingesting food and liquid through the airway. Its second function is to generate the voice.

The voice box, or Larynx, starts growing in male children during puberty. In some, it grows larger, and in others it remains small. When the larynx grows, it surrounds a thick thyroid cartilage growing along with it. In females, it mostly remains smaller. It is genetically defined how far the larynx thyroid muscles should grow in a person. So, even in some men we cannot see large thyroid muscles. The large thyroid cartilage of the larynx is termed as the ‘Adam’s Apple’. It is scientifically called the ‘Prominentia laryngea’. As it appears like an apple struck in the throat, similar to Adam eating from the fruit of knowledge, it is termed as the ‘Adam’s apple’.

The larynx gives modulation to your voice while you are talking, laughing, whispering, singing or shouting. The voice box can be felt by anyone by touching the front of their throat while humming. We can feel the vibration when we are using our voice. That is where the larynx and the muscles surrounding it are situated. When we are young, these muscles are made of soft and spongy tissue. The thyroid cartilage can be moved a little bit to see the change in the voice and pitch.

Though females also possess a larynx, the thyroid muscles are not as large as those of males. So, we can observe the Adam’s apple in males, because it allows them to speak with a grave voice.


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