You're at the high school baseball game with your friends, and you see your big
brother's friend Justin in the dugout drinking from a water bottle. With every sip
he takes, a big bump moves up and down on the front of his neck.
The boys your age don't have bumps like that, you think to yourself. And come to
think of it, neither do any of the girls you know, no matter how
old they are. What's going on here?
When kids hit puberty, their
bodies and minds go through tons of changes. One change that every kid can count on
is lots of body parts growing and changing shape. Almost every part gets in on the
growing action, including the larynx (say: LAIR-inks).
Another name for the larynx is the voice box, and it's in the
throat. The larynx is what gives you your voice, whether you're talking, laughing,
whispering, singing, or shouting. You can find your larynx by touching the front of
your throat and humming. When you feel vibrations under your fingers, you've found
When the larynx grows larger during puberty, it sticks out at the front of the
throat. This is what's called an Adam's apple. Everyone's larynx grows during puberty,
but a girl's larynx doesn't grow as much as a boy's does. That's why boys have Adam's
apples. Most girls don't have Adam's apples, but some do. It's no big deal either
But why is it called an Adam's apple? If you think it's called that after the story
of the Garden of Eden where Adam ate a piece of the forbidden fruit that got stuck
in his throat, you're right. An Adam's apple sometimes looks like a small, rounded
apple just under the skin in the front of the throat.
This larger larynx also gives boys deeper voices. Actually, girls' voices get a
little bit deeper as their larynxes get larger, too. But because boys' larynxes grow
so much more, it makes their voices deeper than girls' voices.
The larynx doesn't grow to its new size overnight, though. If you've ever heard
a teenage boy's voice sound
squeaky, you've heard a larynx trying to get adjusted to its new size!