A Note on Roma Mental Health and the Statement by Géza Jeszenszky

Andrew Richard Ryder, Beáta Nagy, Iulius Rostás

Abstract


In 2005 a course text book was published which was written by Géza Jeszenszky and used for courses taught by Jeszenszky at the Corvinus University. In the text book there is a sentence which generated a great deal of debate and controversy.

"The reason why many Roma are mentally ill is because in Roma culture it is permitted for sisters and brothers or cousins to marry each other or just to have sexual intercourse with each other" (Jeszenszky, 2005, 273).

In November 2012 the Corvinus Rector issued a statement which declared the Corvinus University did not agree with the sentence.  Péter Csermely in a Magyar Nemzet (newspaper) editorial responded to criticism of Jeszenszky’s sentence and stated that the author had simply drawn some conclusions from “evident facts”, “supported by many researchers” (Magyar Nemzet, 2012). It was suggested in late 2012 that the Corvinus University establish a commission to provide an academic and scientific statement on the sentence with a view to seeking Jeszenszky’s endorsement of the note and clarifying the actual expert opinion on these matters in order to diminish the damage caused by confusion and or acceptance of unsubstantiated claims.  In May 2013 at a conference on Roma issues hosted by the Corvinus University the Vice Rector Zoltán Szántó stated he now felt it was an appropriate time to initiate the commission. The scientific note summarises the findings of the commission which was established to investigate this issue.

 


Keywords


Roma, health, exclusion, scholarship

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14267/cjssp.2013.02.05

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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X