Dr. Kristy Slominski (Ph.D. in Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara) specializes in the interactions of religions, science, and health in U.S. history as well as the intersections of U.S. religions and sexuality, with a focus on sexual health education. She is a faculty member within her department's concentration in Religious Studies for Health Professionals, where she teaches courses on religion and health (RELI 303 and RELI 406/506), religion and science (RELI/PHIL 326), religion and sexuality (RELI 363), and world religions (RELI 160D4). She has recently been awarded the inaugural Dorrance Dean's Award for Research and Entrepreneurialism for her project to develop "Health Humanities Training in Religion and Culture" for medical and nursing students.
Her recent book, Teaching Moral Sex: A History of Religion and Sex Education in the United States (Oxford University Press, 2021), examines religious contributions to public sex education from the late nineteenth century to the present, especially around issues of sexually transmitted diseases. It argues that liberal religions—primarily Protestant—laid historical foundations for both the conservative and liberal sides of contemporary controversies between abstinence-only and comprehensive sexuality education. As important players within mainstream movements for sex education, ministers and ecumenical organizations like the Federal Council of Churches strategically combined progressive and restrictive approaches to science and sexuality, influencing major shifts and divisions in venereal disease education. She has published essays based on her book in Aeon and The Immanent Frame and has been featured on podcasts The Revealer and Straight White American Jesus.
Slominski previously served on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Religion (AAR). She is currently a co-chair of the AAR's Religions, Medicines, and Healing unit and a member on the Academic Labor and Contingent Faculty Committee. She is also on the leadership team for Religion, Health, and Humanities Researchers (RHHR), a new global network of scholars interested in the medical and health humanities with a focus on spirituality and religion.