Based on a model of interactive coping activation, we review the impact of gender in the giving and receiving of emotion- and problem-focused social support. The research suggests that the female role (emphasizing nurturance and emotional expressiveness) makes it easier for women to activate social support from close relations as well as to provide social support; whereas the male role (emphasizing achievement, autonomy, emotional control) makes it difficult for men to seek and obtain social support. Type of support required (social-emotional vs. instrumental) may moderate when men and women are more effective in providing social support. The gender-linked model of social support activation may be useful in diagnosing interpersonal problems in providing and obtaining social support.