It is now well established that estrogens can influence a panoply of physiological and behavioral functions. In many instances, the effects of estrogens are mediated by the 'classical' actions of two different estrogen receptors (ERs), ERα or ERβ. ERα and ERβ appear to have opposing actions in the control of stress responses and modulate different neurotransmitter or neuropeptide systems. Studies elucidating the molecular mechanisms for such regulatory processes are currently in progress. Furthermore, the use of ERα and ERβ knockout mouse lines has allowed the exploration of the importance of these receptors in behavioral responses such as anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviors. This review examines some of the recent advances in our knowledge of hormonal control of neuroendocrine and behavioral responses to stress and underscore the importance of these receptors as future therapeutic targets for control of stress-related signaling pathways.