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The sound of one's voice is based on the anatomical structures of the larynx and vocal cords. So, any abnormalities and illnesses that involve this anatomy can affect the voice in various ways. They can cause inflammation and swelling which can lead to a raspy and soft voice because the vocal cords don't function properly.

Changes during puberty

When boys go through puberty, certain changes occur in their bodies such as the development of secondary sexual characteristics, increase in muscle development, and changes in their voices.

The voice will become deeper because during puberty because testosterone is produced that stimulates vocal folds located in the larynx to stretch. The longer the vocal folds, the lower the frequency or pitch of the voice.

In certain situations, however, this change does not occur and may be as a result of a decreased amount of testosterone produced by the body. A reason behind this could be a condition known as hypogonadism where the testicles don't develop to produce testosterone because of problems with the pituitary gland in the brain that doesn't release certain other hormones to stimulate the testicles into growing.

The symptoms and signs associated with hypogonadism could vary depending on if the condition occurs before, during or after puberty. In terms of the voice not becoming deeper in sound, this issue seems to associated with the development of hypogonadism before or during puberty.

Other causes

Another condition that may affect one's voice is a condition known as puberphonia, also referred to as “mutational falsetto”.

Individuals with this disorder continue to have vocal characteristics such as a higher-pitched or cracking voice even after puberty has ended.


Consulting a healthcare professional will help to rule out any other causes (such as infections, inflammation, or lesions involving the larynx or vocal cords) and confirm the diagnosis of hypogonadism through specific investigations.


The management of hypogonadism will depend on the condition and could include therapies such as hormone replacement, medication, or surgery.

Puberphonia is a treatable condition by making use of professionals such as speech therapists who may be able to help work on the volume, pitch, rate, duration, and the timbre of the affected individual's voice.

If an individual with a high-pitched voice finds that this issue is negatively impacting their mental health, it may be helpful to consult with a mental health provider to discuss the issues further.


It's important to take note that although there are a few conditions that may cause one's voice to be high-pitched or not sound male enough, it should also not be considered an abnormality as genetic factors will also need to be factored in when evaluating one's voice. In other words, if male members of a family all seem to have higher-pitched voices then this will most likely run in the family. 

Other factors such as the person's biological sex, gender (and gender norms), race, age, and the language that is spoken can all shape how one's voice is used and how it is perceived by others.

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