The Real Reason Men Have An Adam's Apple

An Adam's apple is a chunk of cartilage wrapped around the voice box, or larynx, and it creates a protrusion in the throat (via Medical News Today). Contrary to popular belief, both males and females have an Adam's apple, but it is much more visible in males. The name comes from the biblical tale of Adam and Eve, in which Adam, the first man on Earth, eats a piece of forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden (via Healthline). A piece of it became lodged in his throat, causing the protrusion that is now known today as the Adam's apple.

Children do not have Adam's apples. Rather, this body part develops during puberty when the body undergoes a number of changes. One of these changes is to the larynx, which is located at the front of the neck and contains the vocal cords. The larynx grows during puberty, giving the vocal cords more room to vibrate and, in turn deepening the tone of your voice — but this growth is much more substantial in boys than in girls. Cartilage then builds up around the voice box to protect it, creating the lump that is the Adam's apple.

Can women have an Adam's apple?

Though a girl's larynx grows during puberty, it still generally remains smaller than the average boy's, and the cartilage surrounding it is therefore less protrusive (via Healthline). Still, it is possible for women to develop a larger voice box and to have a visible Adam's apple. Sometimes, a larger larynx in women is associated with an increased amount of testosterone. 

Some individuals' Adam's apples appear larger than others because more cartilage has grown around the vocal cords. Those people may also simply have a bigger larynx. Though people with larger Adam's apples may have deeper voices, the size of the protrusion does not have any impact on how loudly or clearly you can talk. It is also not an indicator for good or bad health. For people who want to enhance or reduce their Adam's apple for aesthetic reasons, surgical options are available.