I have noticed that some older adults (40+ range) can have voices that sound much younger than their actual age (i.e. an adult sounds like an adolescent).

My question is: could any physical aspects play a part? For instance the size of the throat, the tongue or something else? I am assuming that there are no external factors that are influencing this (smoking, exposure to chemicals, physical trauma, etc).

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    $\begingroup$ every aspect of an organism has a physical cause, there is nothing about an organism that is not ultimately physical. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 0:54

1 Answer 1


In general, a grown up man will have a voice with a lower pitch than when he was an adolescent (Cleveland Clinic). The pitch height basically depends on the length of the vocal cords. According to Wikipedia:

Adult male voices are usually lower-pitched and have larger folds. The male vocal folds...are between 17 mm and 25 mm in length. The female vocal folds are between 12.5 mm and 17.5 mm in length.

So, the shorter the cords, the higher the pitch. There are other anatomical structures in the throat, mouth and nose that may contribute to more adolescent-like voice. To know what exactly is the cause in a particular man, an examination by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist would be probably required. Additionally, a voice specialist could have a good insight even without physical examination.

There can be reasons associated with self-image that make one to consciously or subconsciously insist in speaking with a voice unusual for his age. Sometimes you can see this in singing competitions, when a young man introduces himself with a child-like voice but then sings as a grown-up man.


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