A Japanese tabloid magazine apologized on Tuesday for an article that ranked local women’s universities based on the alleged willingness of students to have sex at drinking parties.
“We would like to apologize for using sensational language to appeal to readers about how they can become intimate with women and for publishing a ranking, with real university names, that resulted in a feature that may have made our readers uncomfortable,” the editorial department of Spa! magazine said in a statement to CNN.
The October 2018 article explored a practice called “gyaranomi,” which are drinking parties where men pay women to attend. A reporter interviewed an app developer who organizes these events and the story claims the booze-filled bashes are popular among college students.
The story sparked outrage online. Kazuna Yamamoto, a 21-year-old senior at International Christian University, started an online campaign demanding the magazine apologize and suspend sales of the October issue. In her change.org petition, which now has more than 45,000 signatures, she writes that the article was “sexualizing, objectifying and disrespecting women.”