Why do boys have a ball in their throat!

By: Nehaa Singh

Ever wondered about that ball shaped object bobbing up and down in boys’ throats? Did you know it’s called Adam's apple. Why don’t girls have it? Let’s talk about it in this week’s Science lab.

So that ball shaped object bobbing up and down in your father’s or brother’s necks when he’s drinking a glass of water or while he’s swallowing, talking and probably even when you’re getting a scolding - well that throbbing “thingamajig”, is called an Adam’s apple or if you want to get all scientific - the laryngeal prominence or larynx (rhymes with jinx).  

Your larynx, also called the voice box is located in the front part of your throat. It is literally what gives you your one of a kind voice and contains your vocal chords (yup, your crooning abilities come from here). Press your fingers against the front part of your throat and you’ll feel your larynx vibrate when you say something. Cool, isn’t it?

Wondering when you’ll get an Adam’s apple and why is it called that? Read on!

  • During puberty the larynx, just like other parts of your body grows. As it gets bigger, the larynx starts to jut outwards in the front part of your throat. And that protruding ball shaped object is called an Adam’s apple.
  • Why is it called an Adam’s apple, you ask? The story goes; Adam ate a piece of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. The piece of fruit got stuck in his throat and the name Adam’s apple stuck as well. Many also find the Adam’s apple similar to a tiny, round apple.
  • The larynx grows for girls and boys, both. However, a girl’s doesn’t grow as much as a boy’s which is probably why the name Adam’s Apple is apt as it is prominent in men.
  • The bigger larynx in boys gives them deeper voices in comparison to girls. This also causes the “cracking” of a boy’s voice. A girl’s voice also gets a little deeper as her larynx grows but since it doesn’t grow as much as a boy’s, her voice isn’t as deep.
  • Now like all changes that happen during puberty, the growing of your larynx and the appearance of your Adam’s apple is a gradual affair. It takes time and when your voice cracks and it sounds broken or squeaky, keep in mind this is just the effect of your Adam’s apple adapting to its change in size. In the end it’ll grow to its full capacity, just as it is meant to.

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