Sixty-six human soft-tissue sarcoma specimens were assayed for incidence and distribution of steroid hormone receptors. Liposarcomas (43%) and leiomyosarcomas (60%) had a high incidence of estrogen receptor. In contrast, sarcomas of fibrous and synovial tissue origin lacked any detectable receptor for estrogen. Malignant fibrous histiocytoma had the highest incidence of glucocorticoid (66%) and androgen (66%) receptors. The incidence of receptors for estrogen and glucocorticoid was higher in female than in male patients (62% and 38%, respectively). Sucrose density gradients demonstrated 8s-type receptors for both estrogen and glucocorticoid. Data from this study suggest that specific high-affinity cytosolic receptors for steroid hormones are present in human soft tissue sarcoma and that their distribution may depend on the histogenetic origin and the sex of patients.