I'm very happy to provide some evidence for the former. In this case, the UK's biggest Tech magazine (basically a monthly collection of the latest toys) - "Stuff". Which has, until this point always had a swimsuit model on its front cover, following the simple line of thought that "Tech is for boys. Boys like sexy women. Stick a woman in a bikini on the cover, holding an iPhone, and you increase the sales."
However, an increase the number of complaints they've had from readers about this practice, combined with a sudden realisation that 40% of their readership is now women, made them try out some covers without the models. And sales went up between 6% and 10% when they did so. So they're going to stop doing it.
As the current editor-in-chief says:
"What we want to do is make sure we’re not creating a barrier,” said Findlater. “It’s the right thing to do in 2014, because attitudes have changed. I think the audience is ready for it, the market’s ready for it, and we don’t want anyone to feel alienated by our covers."
Seems things really are changing for the better*.
*Even if some politicians, judges, and sections of the population still live in the 1950s.
Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comments there.