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Posted by on Jun 24, 2017 in Tell Me Why |

Why Adam’s Apple Is Called So?

Why Adam’s Apple Is Called So?

In the human body, the larynx or the voice box grows during puberty and sticks out at the front of the throat as a small hemispherical bump called the Adam’s apple. The name has a Biblical origin. When Adam ate the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden, it supposedly got stuck in his throat, giving it this name. It is subdued in females and conspicuous in males.

The Adam’s apple, laryngeal prominence, or Eve’s apple, when present in women, is a feature of the human neck, and is the lump or protrusion that is formed by the angle of the thyroid cartilage surrounding the larynx. The structure of the Adam’s apple forms a bump under the skin. It is typically larger in adult males, in whom it is usually clearly visible and palpable. In females, the bump is much less visible and is hardly perceived on the upper edge of the thyroid cartilage.

The meeting point of the two portions of the cartilage generally forms an acute angle (of about 90°) in men, while in women it forms an open arc (of about 120°). Although both sexes have an Adam’s apple, it is considered to be a characteristic feature of adult males, because its size tends to increase considerably during puberty.

Its development is considered a secondary sexual characteristic of males that appears as a result of hormonal activity. Its level of development varies among individuals and the widening of that area in the larynx can occur very suddenly and quickly.

The Adam’s apple, in conjunction with the thyroid cartilage which forms it, helps to protect the walls and the frontal part of the larynx, including the vocal cords (which are located directly behind it).

laryngeal prominence

Another function of the Adam’s apple is related to the deepening of the voice. During adolescence, the thyroid cartilage grows together with the larynx. Consequently, the laryngeal prominence grows in size mainly in men. Together, a larger soundboard is made up in phonation apparatus and, as a result, the man gets a deeper voice note.

Actually, women’s voices get a little bit deeper as their larynxes get larger, too. But because men’s larynxes grow so much more, it makes their voices deeper than women’s voices. The larynx doesn’t grow to its new size overnight, though. If you’ve ever heard a teenager’s voice sound squeaky, you’ve heard a larynx trying to get adjusted to its new size!

Content for this question contributed by Mary Conley, resident of Montclair, Pomona Valley, southwestern San Bernardino County, California, USA