NEW YORK — It just got a bit harder to find the latest issue of Cosmopolitan at Walmart.
The retail company said Tuesday that it’s removing the women’s magazine from checkout lines. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation said Walmart made the decision following conversations with the anti-pornography organization.
“As with all products in our store, we continue to evaluate our assortment and make changes. Walmart will continue to offer Cosmopolitan to customers that wish to purchase the magazine, but it will no longer be located in the checkout aisles,” Walmart said in a statement.
While the move “was primarily a business decision, the concerns raised were heard,” the company added.
Cosmopolitan magazine, which is published by Hearst, is known for its sex tips and advice for young women. It covers “men and love, work and money, fashion and beauty, health, self-improvement and entertainment,” and reaches millions of readers each month, according to Hearst’s website.
Hearst did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
In a statement, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation lauded the “significant policy change.”
“Walmart’s removal of Cosmo from checkout lines is an incremental but significant step toward creating a culture where women and girls are valued as whole persons, rather than as sexual objects,” Executive Director Dawn Hawkins said.
The group takes issue with the magazine, and believes customers shouldn’t have to see it while checking out at stores, because 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,” Hawkins said.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, which changed its name from Morality In Media in 2015, works to highlight the negative effects of pornography, which it calls a “public health crisis.”