Participants were recruited from an undergraduate subject pool of psychology students from a university in the Southern United States. The initial sample size recruited was 323 participants. Seven participants were removed because they did not consent, 23 participants were excluded because they failed an attention screen, and 1 participant was removed because they had a large portion of missing data (29%). The final sample included 292 participants (Mage = 22.85, SD = 7.47; 82.53% female) with 46.6% identifying as White, 29.5% as Black, 22.6% as Hispanic, 2.7% as American Indian or Alaska Native, 2.4% as Asian or Asian American, 0.7% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 3.1% as Other.
Interested students followed a survey link that led to a brief summary of the study and then provided online consent. Within the survey, first, participants were presented with demographic questions that asked for their age, race/ethnicity, and gender. Participants were also asked whether they know someone who experienced sexual assault (yes/no). Next, participants were given a set of randomized baseline questionnaires that assessed traits and history relevant to MST. Following the baseline measures, all participants were presented with a vignette about a male veteran who experienced a sexual assault in the military and who sought treatment after struggling to disclose that experience for a period of time. Participants were randomly assigned to either (a) watch a video of that male veteran discussing his experience or (b) read a transcript of that same video describing the experiences of the same veteran. Lastly, the participants completed follow-up questionnaires immediately after the vignette that assessed their responses to the vignette, including a state elevation measure and a questionnaire about stigma toward that specific veteran. An attention screen (“What branch was the veteran from?”) was also included for all participants within the final set of questionnaires to verify the participant watched or read the vignette. Participants with incorrect responses were excluded from data analysis. All participants consented to participate and study procedures were approved by the local Institutional Review Board.
The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire  measured trait-level empathy. Participants rated the 16 items on a 0 (never) to 4 (always) scale. Sample items include “It upsets me to see someone being treated disrespectfully” and “I enjoy making other people feel better.” All items were summed to create a total score ranging between 0 and 64 with higher scores representing greater empathy (α = .89 [95% CI: .87, .91]).
Trait Moral Elevation
The Engagement with Beauty Scale  is designed to assess trait-like tendencies to feel moved or inspired by natural, artistic, and moral beauty. The moral beauty subscale was used to assess predisposition to experience moral elevation (i.e., trait elevation). Participants rated six items on a scale from 1 (very unlike me) to 7 (very like me). Sample items include “I notice moral beauty in human beings” and “When perceiving an act of moral beauty, I find that I desire to become a better person.” The items were summed to create a subscale score ranging between 6 and 42 with higher scores representing higher trait elevation (α = .87 [.85, .89]).
The Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale  is a 17-item self-report questionnaire that was used to assess PTSD symptoms. Participants were asked to rate the extent they experienced items on a scale from 0 (not at all) to 3 (3–5 or more time a week/very much/almost always). Sample items include “Having bad dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event” and “Trying not to think or talk about the traumatic event.” Due to an error during survey construction, one item was missing in the survey that was administered to all participants (item 7: avoiding activities, people, and places). Therefore, we calculated the mean item score for the remaining 16 items as the total score ranging between 0 and 3 with higher scores representing more severe PTSD symptoms. Although this deviation from standard administration is a study limitation, internal consistency was still high (α = .94 [.93, .95]).
Male rape myth beliefs
The Male Rape Myth Scale [40, 41] assessed false and stereotypical beliefs about male rape. Participants rated 22 items on a scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). Sample items include “Any healthy man can successfully resist a rapist if he really wants to” and “A man who has been raped has lost his manhood.” All items were summed to create a total score ranging between 22 and 132 with higher scores indicating greater acceptance of male rape myths (α = .92 [.91, .93]).
The Attributions Questionnaire-27  measured nine stereotypes about the specific veteran presented in the randomized vignette. Immediately after reviewing the vignette, participants rated the extent to which they agreed with 27 items, as they relate to the veteran self-disclosing MST, on a scale from 1 (none at all) to 9 (very much). This questionnaire was designed to assess nine factors that pertain to public attitudes, emotional affect, and behaviors surrounding stigma for mental health . Accordingly, nine subscale scores were created by summing the three items for each factor, ranging between 3 and 27, with higher scores representing stronger endorsement of that stereotype. Subscales included stereotypes related to anger (e.g., “I would feel aggravated by the veteran.”), blame (e.g., “I would think it was the veteran’s own fault that he is in the present condition.”), pity (e.g., “I would feel pity for the veteran.”), help (e.g., “I would be willing to talk to the veteran about his problems.”), dangerousness (e.g., “I would feel unsafe around the veteran.”), fear (e.g., “The veteran would terrify me.”), avoidance (e.g., “If I were an employer, I would interview the veteran for a job.”; reverse-scored), segregation (e.g., “I think the veteran poses a risk to his neighbors unless he is hospitalized.”), and coercion (e.g., “If I were in charge of the veteran’s treatment, I would force him to take his medication.”). Internal consistency for subscales in this study were mostly adequate (see Table 2) with the exception of blame (α = .61 [.54, .69]) and coercion (α = .47 [.37, .57]).
State moral elevation response
The State Moral Elevation Scale  measured state-level elevation in response to reviewing the veteran vignette. Participants rated the extent they experienced nine items using a scale from 0 (not at all) to 4 (extremely). Sample items include “Somehow lifted up or in touch with the better parts of myself” and “Motivated to live in a nobler or virtuous way.” All items were summed to create a total score ranging between 0 and 36 with higher scores representing greater elevation experienced (α = .89 [.87, .91]).
All data management and analyses were conducted with R . First, to examine whether elevation responses differed between the video versus transcript condition, we calculated an independent samples t-test with the t-test function from the base R stats package; Cohen’s d was calculated with the psych package. We interpreted d > 0.20, d > 0.50, and d > 0.80 as small, medium, and large effects . For the second aim that examined baseline characteristics as predictors of the state elevation response, we used the lm function from the base R stats package to fit a linear regression model that included the following predictors, standardized: gender, age, trait elevation, trait empathy, PTSD symptoms, male rape myth beliefs, and whether or not they know someone who is a sexual assault survivor (yes = 1, no = 0). Lastly, to test our hypothesis that elevation is negatively correlated with stigma, correlations were calculated with the psych package .