I have been finding a lot of conflicting data on the action of strogens and estrogen receptors on subcutaneous fat deposits... Does increased estrogen actovity promote fat accumulation, or is it the other way around?

Adipose tissue has P450 aromatase activity. This enzyme is important for transforming androstenedione into estrone. Estrone is the second major circulating estrogen in pre-menopausal women and the most important estrogen in post-menopausal women. The conversion rate of androstenedione to estrone increases with age and obesity, and is higher in lower-body obesity (subcutaneous fat) than in upper-body obesity (visceral fat).

There are sex steroid-related regional differences in fat distribution between men and women. Compared to men, women (pre-menopausal) have more subcutaneous fat in breasts, hips and thighs. In men, fat is predominantly accumulated in the abdominal subcutaneous and visceral depots, a feature induced by androgens.

In post-menopausal women estrogen replacement therapy has been shown to decrease body fat mass as well as intra-abdominal and intrapelvic fat, but not the subcutaneous fat compartments.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12439787