SALT LAKE CITY — Walmart will no longer sell Cosmopolitan magazine at checkout counters after a group of activists applied pressure to the retail chain over the magazine’s sexual nature.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, a group that has spoken out against pornography and sexual content in the media, said it has been discussing with Walmart how to make the checkout aisles more “family-friendly,” according to Bloomberg.
Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said the magazine will only be available in the magazine section of the store.
“While this was primarily a business decision, the concerns raised were heard,” Hargrove told Bloomberg.
Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the NCOSE, told Bloomberg she raised concerns over the magazine because “Cosmo sends the same messages about female sexuality as Playboy.”
"It places women's value primarily on their ability to sexually satisfy a man and therefore plays into the same culture where men view and treat women as inanimate sex objects," the NCSOE said in a statement, according to NPR. " … Customers should not be forced to be exposed to this content when they are trying to check out at the store."
Walmart's decision is “an incremental but significant step toward creating a culture where women and girls are valued as whole persons, rather than as sexual objects,” Hawkins told Bloomberg.
Cosmopolitan bills itself as a “bible for fun, fearless females,” according to NPR. The magazine reportedly has 17 million adult readers per month.
The magazine started running curt sexual content on its pages in 1965, according to USA Today. The editor at the time, Helen Gurley Brown, "transformed the once family-oriented magazine into a publication for single women that — along with topics on relationships, beauty, fashion and health — still publishes advice and discussions on sex,” USA Today's article states.
NCOSE Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach Haley Halverson said in a Facebook Live session Tuesday night that Walmart’s decision will make grocery shopping a lot safer for families.
"This is one less drop of hyper-sexualized media that is going to be bombarding people in their everyday lives, which does make a difference, especially in this Me Too culture that we're living in, where we really want a culture that will respect women and ensure their dignity is understood," Halverson said.