What is Adam’s apple Class 10?

The Adam’s apple is a feature of the neck that becomes more prominent during puberty. It is located in the front of the neck and is formed by the thyroid cartilage surrounding the larynx. The larynx grows larger during puberty which causes the Adam’s apple to enlarge and stick out more in males. Let’s take a closer look at what the Adam’s apple is and its significance.

Anatomy of the Adam’s Apple

The Adam’s apple is formed by the thyroid cartilage, which is the largest of the nine cartilages that make up the larynx or voice box. The thyroid cartilage consists of two plates that are joined at an angle in the front of the neck. This joining forms a protruding V shape that creates the bulge we know as the Adam’s apple.

Inside the thyroid cartilage sits the larynx, which houses the vocal folds or cords. When we swallow or speak, the vocal folds vibrate to produce sound. The size and shape of the thyroid cartilage protects these important vocal folds.

In adult males, the thyroid cartilage protrudes outward more prominently, creating the pronounced Adam’s apple. In females, the thyroid cartilage tends to be smaller and tilted at a different angle, so the Adam’s apple is less noticeable.

Development of the Adam’s Apple

Both males and females are born with a larynx and thyroid cartilage. However, the male larynx grows significantly larger during puberty due to the increased production of testosterone. This enlargement causes the thyroid cartilage to protrude outward as the Adam’s apple.

Typically, the Adam’s apple is first visible in males around the ages of 12 to 15 years old. The larynx grows the most between the ages of 13 and 16. When the growth phase is complete, the average male Adam’s apple protrudes nearly 2 centimeters outward.

In contrast, increased estrogen production during female puberty leads to only slight growth of the larynx and thyroid cartilage. The female Adam’s apple remains small and is rarely visible above the neckline.

Adam’s AppleSignificance

The main purpose of the enlarged Adam’s apple in males is to deepen the voice. The larynx sits lower in the throat after growing, and the expanded throat cavity allows longer vocal folds that can vibrate more slowly. This creates the lower pitched voices typical of post-pubescent males.

In evolutionary terms, the protruding Adam’s apple likely developed as a signal of physical strength and maturity. An enlarged larynx could imply greater body size and resonating vocal power. Potential mates may have been naturally selected to show preference for more prominent Adam’s apples.

Today, the Adam’s apple is strongly associated with perceptions of masculinity, although not all males have a very noticeable protrusion. A small or large Adam’s apple does not necessarily indicate voice quality or physical strength.

Adam’s Apple Issues

While the Adam’s apple is a typical part of male development, there are some disorders and variations associated with it:

  • Enlarged thyroid: An overactive thyroid, or goiter, can cause the Adam’s apple to increase in size due to swelling of the thyroid gland.
  • High testosterone: Certain medical conditions can elevate testosterone in females and spur growth of the Adam’s apple during puberty.
  • Transgender surgery: Tracheal shaves are procedures that reduce the size of the Adam’s apple to help transgender women transition.
  • Prominent Adam’s apple: Some genetic and anatomical factors can create a protruding Adam’s apple in women or smaller one in men.
  • Thyroid cancer: Tumors on the thyroid cartilage are very rare, but can enlarge the Adam’s apple.

Discomfort or difficulty swallowing may indicate a medical issue with the thyroid or larynx. Most often, however, differences in Adam’s apple size are just normal anatomical variations.

Adam’s Apple and Voice Changes in Puberty

The growth of the Adam’s apple during puberty is driven by testosterone and coincides with many other changes in males:

  • Larynx enlargement: The larynx doubles in sized as the Adam’s apple grows outward.
  • Vocal fold growth: The vocal cords grow 60% longer and thicker, deepening the voice.
  • Voice box lowering: The larynx sits lower in the throat after puberty.
  • Wider vocal range: Males gain a wider range of voice tones and pitches.
  • Breaking voice: The voice “cracks” or “breaks” during puberty as the vocal folds adjust.

These changes all contribute to the transformation from a child’s higher voice to the lower adult male voice. The Adam’s apple is simply the external indication of this larynx growth that enables the deepened voice.

Adam’s Apple Reduction Surgery

Some males and transgender women elect to undergo Adam’s apple reduction surgery, known medically as a chondrolaryngoplasty. This is a reconstructive procedure aimed at reducing the size or protrusion of the Adam’s apple.

There are a few techniques that may be used:

  • Thyroid cartilage shaping: Cartilage is surgically removed or repositioned to smooth contours.
  • Trachea shave: The Adam’s apple “bump” is shaved down by removing excess tissue.
  • Cartilage wedge resection: A wedge-shaped section of cartilage is removed to change the shape.

For transgender women, reducing an enlarged or prominent Adam’s apple can help create a more feminine-looking neck. The surgery does not affect voice pitch or quality. It should only be performed by an experienced surgeon due to potential risks.

Adam’s Apple in Females vs. Males

Feature Females Males
Prominence Less noticeable protrusion Obvious protruding bump
Size Typically small Generally large
Growth Minimal growth during puberty Significant growth during puberty

As shown in the table, the key differences between the female and male Adam’s apple include:

  • Prominence – The male Adam’s apple noticeably protrudes from the neckline, while the female version generally does not.
  • Size – Estrogen limits thyroid cartilage growth in girls, while testosterone enlarges it in boys.
  • Growth – The amount of growth during puberty is what primarily distinguishes the male and female Adam’s apple.

Adam’s Apple Reduction Procedures

Adam’s apple reduction surgery is performed for different reasons in males and transgender patients:


  • Improve self-esteem related to a large Adam’s apple
  • Reduce obstructive sleep apnea symptoms
  • Lessen discomfort swallowing or neck movement

Transgender Women

  • Feminize the neck by reducing masculine features
  • Help the outward appearance match gender identity
  • Increase confidence and reduce gender dysphoria

While techniques vary, all procedures aim to reshape the thyroid cartilage into a smaller, smoother, less protruding structure. An experienced plastic surgeon can advise on options to meet individual needs.


The Adam’s apple is an anatomical feature of the larynx that grows and enlarges during male puberty. This protrusion of the thyroid cartilage protects the vocal folds that enable the lower-pitched adult male voice. While a prominent Adam’s apple is seen as masculine, its size and shape can vary greatly. Understanding the developmental role of the Adam’s apple and options to reshape it can help transgender women and self-conscious males seeking a smaller, more delicate neck contour.

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