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Contrary to popular belief, women too have Adam’s apple. However, it is not developed enough to be prominently visible. The Adam’s apple is said to get its name from the Biblical event where Adam ate a bite of the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden, which later got stuck in his throat. However, the development of Adam’s apple has a more scientific reasoning behind it.
The development of Adam’s apple is part of the changes a boy’s body goes through during puberty. The Adam’s apple refers to the protrusion of thyroid cartilage in front of the larynx or the voice box. It sits just above the thyroid gland and is officially known as a laryngeal prominence. The Adam’s apple is most prominently visible when looking at a man’s side profile.
During puberty, testosterone is produced in large amounts. This causes a boy’s larynges to expand thereby, lowering and deepening the male voice. As the larynx gets bigger the angle at which the right and left thyroid cartilage meets each other becomes more acute thereby, accentuating the Adam’s apple. For most men, these cartilage meet at a 90-degree angle making it prominently visible.
A woman’s larynx also grows during puberty, but not as much as men. For this reason, women have a higher pitched voice than men. Hence the angle between the right and left thyroid cartilage covering a woman’s larynx is usually around 120 degrees. Thus, it is usually not visible to the naked eye, but may be felt during a physical examination.
However, some women do have a larger voice box and hence a pronounced Adam’s apple. This does not have any serious health implications and could be because of a number of reasons including genetic factors or hormonal imbalances. In such cases, they may choose to get it surgically removed. This is because the presence of Adam’s apple is seen as a male characteristic and can have an adverse effect on a woman’s self-confidence. In many cases, men may also choose to have the size of their Adam’s apple reduced through surgery.
The Adam’s apple does not have a noticeable purpose. On the other hand, it can be a cause of concern for men trying to keep a secret as it may jump up and down when nervous. For many men, this bobbing of Adam’s apple is a giveaway when they tell a lie.