Ever wondered why men have that prominent lump in their throats, addressed weirdly enough as an ‘Adam’s apple’, while women do not? The origins of this term go all the way back to a Biblical event. Legend has it that the first man and woman to walk the Earth, Adam and Eve, lived in the Garden of Eden. They were free to eat whatever they wanted, except the ‘forbidden fruit’ from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. However, they were tricked into eating the fruit, commonly represented as an apple, and as Eve gave it to Adam; a piece got stuck in his throat, giving rise to the bump in the throat of all men you see, called the ‘Adam’s apple’ for obvious reasons. As fascinating as these mythological stories might be, the scientific truth is often a lot more mundane.
Why Don’t Women Have Adam’s Apples?
“As it turns out, women do have Adam’s apples too – we just can’t see them; Adam’s apple is simply a term used to describe the visible protrusion that is most pronounced in men”
A surprising revelation is that women actually do have a bump in their throats. The trickier question is why it’s not as easily visible as it is in men. Scientifically known as ‘the laryngeal prominence’, the Adam’s apple sits atop the thyroid gland, the area fittingly called the thyroid cartilage. This cartilage protects your larynx or ‘voice box’, a structure in your neck that houses your vocal cords.
Why You Can’t See Women’s Adam’s Apples
When boys hit puberty, the voice box gets bigger because of raised testosterone levels – this doesn’t just deepen their voices, but it also causes a visible protrusion in the middle area of the throat, which we address as the ‘Adam’s apple’
Girls and boys start out with similarly sized thyroid cartilages, however, when boys hit puberty, their testosterone levels begin to rise. Among other noticeable changes, the voice box gets bigger. A result of this is the protrusion in the middle area of the throat, which we address as the ‘Adam’s apple’. It is because of this enlargement that their voices begins to deepen.
Girls’ larynxes grow too, just not as much as their male counterparts. Hence, the bulge in their throat is not as visible. However, it is not uncommon for some women to actually have a visible bulge. There may be a number of reasons for this. And though it does not carry any serious health implications, sadly some women think of it as a male trait and deem themselves unattractive. Talking to someone about it or seeking counseling can be helpful in assisting them in regaining perspective and self-assurance.
Unfortunately for men, their Adam’s apple does not serve any real function, but can be a dead giveaway. Commonly known as the ‘Adam’s apple jump’, a conspicuous up-and-down movement of the bulge can instantly betray your nervousness and anxiety. So, don’t even attempt to hide stuff from your girlfriend again – she’ll probably be able to tell!
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