Abstract The endocrine pancreas is central in the physiopathology of diabetes mellitus. Nutrients and hormones control endocrine pancreatic function and the secretion of insulin and other pancreatic islet hormones. Although the pancreas is not usually considered as a target of steroids, increasing evidence indicates that sex steroid hormones modify pancreatic islet function. The biological effects of steroid hormones are transduced by both, classical and non-classical steroid receptors that in turn produce slow genomic and rapid non-genomic responses. In this review, we focused on the effects of sex steroid hormones on endocrine pancreatic function, with special emphasis in animal studies.