State senators are preparing to vote next week — for the fifth time — on a bill that would require Massachusetts schools that teach sex education to use age-appropriate curriculum that includes information on consent, gender identity and sexual orientation.

The bill, which supporters call the Healthy Youth Act, would not mandate sex education classes in any school, and it spells out a process by which parents can opt their child out of part or all of the curriculum without facing disciplinary action or other penalties.

"Our kids and our students are talking about this topic, if it's in the classroom or not," bill sponsor Sen. Sal DiDomenico said. "And if they're not getting good information — medically accurate, age-appropriate information — they're making decisions with that information. And the decisions that they're making have lifelong consequences."

The Senate Ways and Means Committee advanced the bill Thursday, teeing it up for action by the full Senate.

The bill, according to a committee summary, would require sexual health education curriculum to be medically accurate and age appropriate. It aims to include information on human anatomy and development, reproduction, the benefits of abstinence, contraceptive use, ways to discuss safe sexual activity, communication skills for healthy relationships, and gender identity and sexual orientation, "including affirmative recognition that people have different sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expression."

The Senate has passed the bill four times in the past nine years, most recently on a 38-1 vote in 2021. Each time, it’s gone on to die without a vote in the House.

DiDomenico, an Everett Democrat, said supporters hope this could be the year the bill makes it over the finish line, buoyed in part by Gov. Maura Healey’s interest in the topic.

Last year, Healey’s administration rolled out a new curriculum framework for schools that teach sex education, the first change to those guidelines since 1999. The framework, broken down into different age groups, covers topics like LGBTQ+ inclusivity, consent, nutrition, hygiene and substance misuse. Healey said in June that she believes "strongly that all students deserve inclusive, medically accurate, and age-appropriate health guidelines."

The voluntary framework offers a guideline for school districts, but does not require them to use specific materials or curriculum. DiDomenico said the framework is "more of a suggestion of what schools could teach."

"It was more of a floor, where Healthy Youth is putting it into the curriculum," he said.

The bill would also require state education officials to revisit the framework at least every 10 years "to make it as current as possible," DiDomenico said.