Kiwi men are not doing enough around the house to win over their wives and partners, new research suggests, but we are still doing better than our transtasman cousins.

New Zealand ranked ninth-equal out of 13 countries in an Oxford University study that examined how people become more attractive to the opposite sex by helping out with the household chores and looking after the children.

Swedish men topped the table as most attractive in terms of pulling their weight around the house, while Australians - perhaps preoccupied by their great loves of beer and sport - came in last, British news website telegraph.co.uk reported.

The website quoted experts who said that women were more attracted to men if they believed they would help around the house and share the childcare.

Relationship expert Janice Davies said there was no denying that Kiwi men had some improving to do when it came to carrying the load in the household. Some of the older generation especially, who grew up seeing their mothers doing all the housework, needed to change their thinking.

"There is some of that old school thinking still around, that even though the man is working and the woman is working, that she should be doing all the housework, which is obviously showing up in this survey," Janice Davies said.

A harmonious relationship was about giving as well as taking.

"If you're running a home, a family and doing all the housework, exhaustion sets in, and in all honesty, the nicer sides of the marriage are likely to be non-existent."

Researchers in the study questioned 13,500 men and women aged between 20 and 45 from each country about gender, housework and childcare responsibilities.

Based on their responses, each country was given a rating on an "Egalitarian Index". Women in countries with less equality in the home were found to be between 20 and 50 per cent less likely to settle down with a man.

Dr Almudena Seville-Sanz, of Oxford University's Centre for Time Use Research, said: "This study shows that in egalitarian countries there is less social stigma attached to men doing what was traditionally women's work".

However, while the study suggested that women favour men who are willing to treat them as equals, it also found that men themselves placed less value on the quality in the opposite sex.

Our place on the Egalitarian Index:
1. Sweden
2. Norway
3. Britain
4. United States
5. Northern Ireland
6. Netherlands
7. Republic of Ireland
8. Spain
9= New Zealand, Japan
10. Germany
11. Austria
12. Australia