I have had a couple of years to come to grips with this information and to do my own "research" and have found that CM is a very good data sampling that supports these statistics, especially from the numbers of members that answer "no" under premarital sex (way more men than women check "no" in this category).
Now, I know where I stand in this category (check my profile if you are interested) and I know where my exhusband stands (he is currently unmarried, living with his "sex slave"), but I am concerned where this leaves my four twenty-something year old children.
What is the Catholic church doing to reduce the percentages? Well, the marriage and family life minister said he is setting up households for the couples to live, seperately, so that they are no longer living together. Not a bad idea, but I think that is just treating the symptoms and not getting to the root of the problem.
I would like to hear suggestions from CM members, whether you checked yes or no for the premarital sex question or not, as to whether or not the Church should "do" anything in regards to the high percentages of members engaging in sex before marriage. AND if the church should "do" something, what should it be? Keep in mind that statistics show couples who cohabitate/engage in premarital sex have a higher divorce rate than couples that don't.
I feel like the Church should do something, but whether it'll stem the tide is up in the air. It's a societal thing and hard to break. I think most Catholics that live together are probably not regular Sunday attending Catholics. It's just my feeling, no hard facts to back that up.
What should the Church do? I think it starts with education. That the Church needs to make a better effort at educating teens about purity and chastity and talking about why living together is wrong. So many see their siblings and/or family doing it, that they figure it's no big deal and so they will as well. We need to keep pounding home the message that living together and being sexually active before marriage is not a good thing. I've found the time dedicated to it at my home parish was one class session on marriage and one on chastity and purity. Keep in mind one class session is one hour and fifteen minutes. So that's a grand sum of two and a half hours on the topic. Trust me, all the important points can't be covered in that time period and the kids will walk out of that class ignorant to the Church's teaching. The other thing would be the priests taking a stand and telling couples that the parish will not be having their wedding if they keep living together. A priest who went on to be a bishop said that to my cousin and his then fiancee and they didn't live together even though they'd picked out an apartment. The priest talked them through it and my cousin said he made utter and complete sense and really appreciated the talk. So, better education and more priests taking a stand is what I believe should happen in order to reduce the rate of couples living together and thus reducing the rate of divorce.