A university study which found adults with gay parents suffer significantly worse life experiences compared to those from married, heterosexual households will be investigated following allegations of scientific misconduct.

University of Texas (UT) sociologist Mark Regnerus faced widespread criticism when he published his study in the Social Science Research journal last month.

Regnerus found that adults with gay parents tended to suffer from diminished success in their economic and romantic lives, and struggled with mental health issues.

Questions about the study began to arise when The New Civil Rights Movement‘s Scott Rosenweig wrote to UT president Bill Powers last month about problems raised by the study, the AP reports.

Rosensweig alleged that Regnerus was guilty of scientific misconduct because he had created “a study designed so as to be guaranteed to make gay people look bad, through means plainly fraudulent and defamatory”.

He also said had Regenerus had “taken money from an anti-gay political organisation for his study”. The conservative Witherspoon Institute and Bradley Foundation funded his research.

Regnerus has declined to comment on the inquiry but said that his study followed the standard academic protocol.

An independent panel of UT professors is conducting the inquiry and one panellist, sociology professor Debra Umberson, has already labelled the study “bad science”.

She claimed in an editorial that there were “egregious yet strategic” choices in selecting which groups to study and compare.

Five UT faculty members and 200 other academics have signed a letter to the editor of Social Science Research pointing out what they claim were flaws in Regnerus’ methodology.

The investigation by the panel will be completed within 60 days

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