Buying Cosmo off the magazine rack could eventually look like purchasing Playboy or Penthouse if some eager youngsters get their way.

A new petition on change.org that’s ironically been backed by the daughter of former Hearst Corp. chairman Randolph A. Hearst, Vanessa Hearst, and started by model and aspiring actress Nicole Weider, is pushing for Cosmopolitan to be packaged in nontransparent packaging and  sold only to adults 18 and older due to its racy content.

We all know every month Cosmo is going to show you another 365 ways to have an orgasm, make your man melt in the bedroom, or have a triathlon-like night of sex, but as hard as it may be to believe, the magazine has calmed down from what it was in its heydey. I doubt many grown women in control of their sexuality are wooed by the salacious headlines, but with the trend that 10- and 11-year-olds are likely reading Cosmo Girl, and 13- to 17-year-olds Cosmo, the concern might be real.

Weider sent a letter to FTC Secretary Jon Leibowitz, along with issues of the magazine in which she flagged several suspect features, like, references to anal sex, sexting, casual hookups, and threesomes, and an article with URLs to female-friendly porn, asking:

“How is this even legal? If it’s an adult magazine, just sell it to adults.”

So far, 33,000 people and counting agree with that sentiment. That’s the number who have signed Weider’s petition and want to prevent more girls from experiencing negative consequences like having their hearts broken, getting pregnant, or catching STDs as a result of following the magazine’s advice, as Weider says hundreds of girls as young as 11 have told her in letters.

Obviously, this effort doesn’t leave room for much parental intervention, which should already be in place to stop girls from reading material that’s not appropriate for their age anyway, but it seems in the eyes of these petitioners reading Cosmo is as dangerous to underage girls as smoking cigarettes or taking a drink. What do you think?

Should you have to be 18 to buy Cosmo?


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